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MIF and CEFI partner to achieve the financial inclusion of one million Peruvians through mobile phones

Jul 9, 2015

The new project will build up an electronic financial services platform and will be part of the “Modelo Peru” initiative 

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, approved a grant of US$1 million for a project that will seek to promote financial inclusion of one million people in Peru through enhancing a mobile payments platform that is interoperable, scalable, and affordable for the low-income population. The project will be implemented by the Financial Research Center (CEFI), an entity created by the Peruvian Bank Association (Asbanc) to fulfill its financial inclusion objectives.

Despite Peru’s significant gains in delivering financial services to traditionally excluded segments, in the general population in and particularly in the low-income population, there is very little use of electronic payment methods such as credit, debit, and prepaid cards. This generates inefficiencies and costs, both for families and for the overall economy, such as the cost of transporting cash and the time spent waiting to make payments in cash. With a population of 30.8 million people, vast market penetration offers a massive channel for financial inclusion based on mobile phones. As of June 2014, Peru had more than 30.5 million mobile phone lines in service.

Since 2014, as an initiative of Asbanc, an electronic money platform has been in development to enable the financial system to serve unserved and underserved sectors without needing to establish a physical presence. This initiative, known as Modelo Perú, has a target of reaching five million users by 2020. This project is part of that initiative and expects to reach one million users by the end of it.  A new company, Pagos Digitales Peruanos (PDP), is being created in order to manage the platform and services. CEFI will be the majority shareholder with 51%, and electronic money issuers that will use the platform will own the remainder. The platform is expected to have an impact by lowering costs for financial services and expanding access to financial services for the population that is currently unserved.

The MIF will support CEFI in achieving its goals through two lines of action: developing capacity and financial inclusion education for end users in using the channel , and identifying opportunities to adopt mobile payments to replace the use of cash in various businesses and payment chains, generating operational efficiencies, increasing formalization, and expanding coverage.

As a complement to the two lines of work that the MIF will support, CEFI will partner with other actors to develop the ecosystem in order to improve the regulatory framework (in partnership with the SBS) and develop the technology platform (in partnership with Ericsson). This project is a pioneer private sector initiative involving more than 30 electronic money issuers in a single technology platform designed for interoperability between issuers and telecommunications companies.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, supports private sector-led development benefiting low-income populations and the poor—their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory—experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks to build and support successful micro, small and medium business models. More information can be found at www.fomin.org

About CEFI


The Financial Research Center (El Centro de Estudios Financieros, CEFI) is an organization created in 2012 by the Association of Banks of Peru (la Asociación de Bancos del Perú, Asbanc), to ensure financial education in Peru. Asbanc was created in June 1967 to represent its member banks and participate in decisions that affect the sector. The association also cooperates with the country’s supervisory, regulatory, and representative authorities to analyze problems related to the financial sector, seeking to achieve solutions that, within the framework of free enterprise principles and maintaining monetary stability, help develop an efficient, modern financial system. More information at www.cefi.edu.pe/

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