FIBR is an action research or R&D project which seeks in-depth learning about how best to apply smartphones in promoting financial inclusion through intensive engagement with its partners, in ways that can be actively communicated to the identified learning constituencies. FIBR has a specific learning agenda focusing on three central themes.
What is the most effective way for local businesses to digitize their financial matters and operations?
To what extent are digitized local businesses (“partners”) ready to become an effective channel for delivering richer & more flexible financial options to their low-income customers, employees, suppliers or other business partners (“end users”)?
Can digitizing the operations of local businesses help convince financial service providers (FSPs) to want to offer, fund or underwrite financial services to low-income end users through the local businesses they are associated with?
FIBR aims to communicate learnings from these intensive engagements in ways that will move the field of financial inclusion forward, and will take an active approach to learning and communication throughout.
FIVE LEARNING CONSTITUENCIES
While the partners, their clients and end users are the direct beneficiaries of the project, the project has identified five learning constituencies to whom the lessons from the project will be processed and fed back, and who therefore constitute indirect beneficiaries. These are:
The Financial Inclusion community,
The Mobile for Development (M4D) community,
Financial Technology (fintech) Entrepreneurs and Companies,
Social Impact & Other Tech Investors
The Micro, Small and Medium enterprise (MSME) sector at international (such as the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion SME sub-group) and local levels in the chosen countries.
Today, all of these constituencies are raising fundamental questions about how the adoption of smartphones changes business models for service provision in developing countries, and how it opens new opportunities for sustainable and impactful financial services. FIBR will help to provide tangible answers to a range of these questions.