September 2018
From the editor

Dear RFILC members,

Our September’s insight issue will start by focusing on a new landscape report by Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF) Protecting growing prosperity: Agricultural insurance in the developing world. In the past ten years, the field of smallholder finance has grown in both size and complexity. As new players and products have entered the market around the world, there is an ever-present need to understand the many innovative business models and product classes that are developing to support smallholder farmers in their quest for economic advancement. This report highlights the current status and future development of agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers. Based on interviews with more than forty-five key agricultural insurance stakeholders, the research paints a picture of an industry that shows great potential but struggles to achieve the necessary scale and product-level refinements.

The second highlight is a report entitled “FinTech for Financial Inclusion: A Framework for Digital Financial Transformation” conducted by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI). As the report states, the full potential of FinTech for financial inclusion could be expressed by adopting a strategic framework that regulates the underlying infrastructure, as well as promoting an enabling policy and regulatory environment to support digital financial transformation. Drawing from experiences in a range of emerging, developing, and developed countries, research suggests that the best approach is a staged and sequenced approach that can be easily broken down into four main pillars: (1)building digital identification and e-KYC systems, (2)establishment of digital payment infrastructure and open electronic payments systems, (3)the promotion of account opening and access with the electronic provision of government services, and (4)design of digital financial markets and systems. Digital Financial Transformation is a major journey for any economy, but one that experience increasingly suggests has tremendous potential to transform financial inclusion and support digital economic development.

Finally, the 3rd edition of the Back to Boulder: Strategic Response to Risk in Microfinance Markets program will take place in Washington, DC, on November 26-30, hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). This event brings together not only leaders from within and outside of the microfinance community, but also international experts in leadership and change management, to provide participants with practical tools, cases, and experiences in the areas of risk governance, digital financial services and enhanced competitiveness. Through 32 academic hours, participants will have the chance to learn from a faculty of 15 renowned experts.

With best regards,
The RFILC editorial team

We hope you enjoy your visit to the RFILC.

The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC: