A Fintech Approach to Financial Inclusion


We are pleased to announce that BFA will be hosting a Financial Inclusion Week event, which will be part of a week of global conversation exploring the most important steps to achieving full financial inclusion.  Partners from around the world are holding conversations to explore this year’s theme New Products, New Partnerships, New Potential.

BFA will host a webinar focused on the benefits, challenges and insights of fintech approaches to financial inclusion as part of Financial Inclusion Week. The webinar will highlight key findings from three of BFA’s global programs: Catalyst Fund, FIBR and OPTIX.


Thursday, November 2nd, 2017


9:00am - 10.30 am EST

Meet the newest FIBR Partners

PAYGo Solar: Robust Agent Networks and Modern, Data-Driven Channels

FIBR has been looking at pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) models as a promising approach to broaden financial services to the underserved and building on top of more scalable distribution networks. This past July, we published our PAYGo briefing note, examining this rapidly-growing field where hardware meets software, where dirty fuels become clean energy and richer data sets translate to novel inclusive financial services. Two of our newest partners are PAYGo solar companies servicing parts of East and West Africa. Off-Grid:Electric is a PAYGo solar enterprise with markets in Tanzania, Rwanda and Ivory Coast. PEG Africa, distributes home solar kits and accessories out of Ghana and Ivory Coast. With these two partners, we are exploring the effectiveness of digital channels to extend financial services and engage agents and customers.

Sokowatch, like our two PAYGo solar companies, is another data-driven company that puts into play proprietary customer data and smartphone-enabled digital channels. As an on-demand ordering and delivery service for small retailers, Sokowatch's sales & delivery agents use smartphones to collect real-time data about customers and inventory. Through our engagement with Sokowatch, we will co-create new tools such as apps and targeted features on top of digital channels to increase value to their customers.

Read more about our partner profiles here.

Imagining the Future of Financial Inclusion at S0FI 2017


What does a customer-centric ecosystem look like?


Imagining the Future of Financial Inclusion

The Mastercard Foundation
Symposium on Financial Inclusion (SoFI)

November 8-9, 2017
Ballroom of the Kempinski Hotel
Gold Coast City, Accra
Accra, Ghana

This session will present a compelling futuristic vision in which an entire ecosystem is geared towards client-centric innovation. From the perspective of the client, the panel will showcase what could be possible if unnecessary barriers were relaxed and digital assets and channels were leveraged via open structures for purposes of innovation. The session will highlight the trends that enable this digital future and showcase how these trends are already being leveraged by our partners to advance and enhance financial inclusion digitally. Finally, the discussion will turn to the risks that could emerge as new players enter the innovation space, and digital assets are leveraged in new ways, and hypothesize what that might mean for the low-income client.


Olga Morawczynski — Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation

Juliet Anammah — CEO, Jumia Nigeria

Dr. Duoguang Bei — President, Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion

Amolo Ngweno — East Africa Regional Director, Bankable Frontier Associates

Nadeem Shaikh — Founder and CEO, Anthemis

Learn more about SOFI 2017 here.


How Flexible Financing, Solar Panels and Data Could Be Key to Financial Inclusion

Photo: How PAYGo solar works. Source: FIBR Project

Photo: How PAYGo solar works. Source: FIBR Project

FIBR's Briefing Note, “PAYGo Solar: Lighting the way for flexible financing and services” examines four key industry challenges from a financial inclusion perspective that serve as the foundation for FIBR’s PAYGo solar learning agenda: 1) unlocking local capital; 2) building data-driven financial operations; 3) tackling customer payment frictions; and 4) driving smarter agent network management. FIBR expects to conduct research and make project investments aligned with these four industry challenges in the sector. FIBR is currently working with CGAP to explore how PAYGo solar fits into the financial lives of low-income consumers across Africa. More...

Download the FIBR Briefing Note here.

The author, Jacob Winiecki, a senior associate at BFA, is an off-grid energy and digital finance specialist.

Why Alternative Lending Struggles to Scale in Emerging Markets — And What Fintech Companies Can Do About It

A new FIBR Briefing Note, “Alternative Lending: Landscaping the Funding Models for Lending Fintech Companies, surveys the emerging landscape of alternative lending with a view especially to informing tech and fintech companies which are already in — or plan to enter — this space in developing countries. The main message of the Briefing Note is that fintech companies intending to lend need to ensure that they have a robust funding strategy that will help them get to the necessary scale. This strategy includes a review of the regulatory requirements for lending and data sharing in the domestic market. 

Read the FIBR Briefing Note.

The Rise of a New Asset Class: Can ‘PAYGo Finance’ Connect Investors to Low-Income Customers?

Photo: Raju Haria, CEO of Raj Ushanga House (left), Daniel Goldfarb, CEO of Lendable (second from left), and Sharon Arungu-Olende, head of East Africa for Lendable (right), provide a PAYGo solar system to a customer.

Photo: Raju Haria, CEO of Raj Ushanga House (left), Daniel Goldfarb, CEO of Lendable (second from left), and Sharon Arungu-Olende, head of East Africa for Lendable (right), provide a PAYGo solar system to a customer.

FIBR's Briefing Note “Lendable: Case Study of a Marketplace Lending Platform in East Africa” examines an alternative lending platform that connects impact and institutional debt investors with alternative lenders in East Africa. More...

Download the FIBR Briefing Note here

The author, Jim Kaddaras, is an international lawyer and consultant in the development finance field.


FIBR KIVA Loan Program for Farmerline


A cool experiment with Kiva loans and our partner Farmerline is now live! We have teamed up with Kiva's Direct-to-Social-Enterprise program to tap their networks and to help Farmerline raise funding to create a credit scoring product which enables cash advances to smallholder farmers. This affordable financing enable farmers be more productive and withstand economic shocks.

Farmerline's $50K loan went live yesterday and is already 15% funded! This is one example of how FIBR seeks to extend financial services to underserved customers, by building an inclusive fintech web of startups, financing partners and end-users.

Learn more about this campaign by visiting the Farmerline KIVA loan page.

The FIBR team