the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

Banks in the digital era...Do you need an innovation hub?

By Sergio Navajas

Banks are no strangers to innovation, but are they keeping up with the times? What strategies are banks using to deal with rapid innovation in the financial industry? These topics were central to a panel on Innovation Hubs and Sandboxes at Columbia University’s 6th Annual Fintech, DFS (Digital Financial Services) & Payments Summit which took place in early June, 2017.[1] The panel had participation from Citi Fintech, Open Innovation at Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank’s New York Innovation Lab, the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, and KPMG.

Webinar: Finconecta

By Sergio Navajas

El Fondo Multilateral de Inversiones (FOMIN) lo invita a participar en un seminario en línea acerca del programa Finconecta

FINCONECTA: Building bridges between Financial Institutions and Fintechs

By Sergio Navajas

When it comes to financial inclusion, the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region is no stranger to innovations coming from the outset of the formal financial sector. In fact, microcredit and agent banking are prime examples that illustrate the willingness of both regulated and non-regulated institutions to adopt creative new solutions in the quest to improve access and quality of financial services for certain underserved sectors of the population. Successful innovations such as this have become intricately woven into the fabric of formal financial systems in the region. However, in the case of Fintech, the situation is different. A Fintech innovation goes beyond simply improving an existing financial service or enhancing back-office operations; it can be way more disruptive, nimble and massive than that. It can create an entirely new type of institution or even a completely new concept, testing new ways altogether for interacting with clients.

The Future of Financial Inclusion

By Sergio Navajas

In the last week of October 2015, the MIF’s annual Foromic conference took place in Santiago, Chile. This is the region’s largest gathering on financial inclusion—with over 1,300 participants, it is a must-attend for financial industry managers, government officials, investors, donors, consultants, and other stakeholders. It provides the ideal backdrop to discuss the future of financial inclusion.

Financial inclusion just a click away: E-wallets and payment platforms

By Sergio Navajas

By Sergio Navajas and Valentina Echeverry  

Also published on Sustainable Business blog

In Latin America, 60 percent of the population lacks access to financial services, equivalent to approximately 250 million people. However, mobile phone penetration is between 90 and 100 percent.  In some countries, such as Colombia, penetration is 105 percent. This indicates that most people have a mobile device and some, even two. What role do mobile wallets and payment platforms play in financial inclusion?