FinDev Guide

COVID-19 FinDev Weekly Update | 09 - 15 Jul 2020

Roundup of the most relevant coronavirus-related resources for the microfinance and financial inclusion community
A fruit vendor pushing his cart. Photo by Partha Sarathi Dalal, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest.

FinDev Gateway has created this COVID-19 weekly update with the latest and most relevant knowledge resources for financial inclusion as they become available. Sign up to receive FinDev's weekly update each Friday with a summary of the main issues covered during the week. 

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  • A special edition e-MFP survey of the microfinance sector highlights key concerns of clients, providers, funders, and others. Among other things, providers worry that the move away from the high-touch model of delivering microfinance services may make it difficult to preserve their social mission and protect clients. Respondents also saw the current crisis as an opportunity to "re-think the direction the sector has been going, and how it can adapt to work better for more people".
  • Financial services offered by platforms can play an important role in meeting gig workers’ needs. According to a CGAP blog, gig workers need stronger safety nets; many platforms are offering financial assistance, temporary sick leave, and training for workers to switch to high-demand activities.


  • The State Bank of Pakistan continues to encourage contactless banking and has extended until December the temporary suspension of biometric verification and the removal of daily transaction limits on certain types of digital payments.
  • In India, “the value of transactions on the Unified Payments Interface, a platform created by India’s largest banks in 2016, reached an all-time high last month as people feared to handle banknotes amid the pandemic.”


  • Most women-led SMEs in the region are at risk of permanent closure due to the pandemic, according to a survey by ImpactHER covering 30 African countries. 
  • CICO (cash-in and cash-out) agents in Kenya and in Uganda report that their income from commissions has declined by more than 40 percent since the onset of the pandemic. 
  • 37 percent of Kenyans were unable to pay their rent in May, according to a government survey.

For more on Africa, check out the latest Portail FinDev Weekly Update in French.

Latin America and the Caribbean

The articles and knowledge resources referenced in this section are in Spanish.

  • A new bill in Chile aims to regulate exchange rates in the credit card payment system to encourage use and expand access for customers and lower transaction cost for businesses.
  • Peru seeks to speed up transition to a cashless economy and is now promoting the use of contactless payment on buses.

For more on LAC, check out the latest Portal FinDev Weekly Update in Spanish.

Arab World

  • Mastercard has deployed Mastercard Cross-Border Services to enable faster remittances without back-end charges in the MENA region, in response to COVID-19.
  • In Jordan, FINCA Microfinance is implementing a new business model shifting to centralization and digitalization, as a way to ease operations amid the pandemic.

For more on the Arab world and resources in Arabic, check out the latest FinDev Weekly Update in Arabic.

COVID-19 Resources

Man on a boat with a lantern. Photo by Uttam Kamati, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest.

Global Community Response to COVID-19

A list of organizations offering resources and insights on COVID-19 & microfinance

FinDev Guide to Data - Tracking the Global Response to COVID-19

FinDev Coronavirus Data Tracker

Data relevant for financial inclusion - find out who is tracking what

Discussion Forum.

Discussion Forum

Forum for the financial inclusion sector to discuss responses to COVID-19


Recent Publications

For a complete list of publications and to learn how you can share your research with us, visit FinDev's Publications page.

The COVID-19 Financial Inclusion Compass
This publication shares results from a survey assessing various challenges facing different stakeholder groups in financial inclusion.

Myanmar Microfinance Money Management: Coping With the COVID Crisis
This Advisory Note estimates the magnitude of the liquidity shortfall for the largest microfinance institutions resulting from the complete six-week shutdown in April-May 2020. 

Out of Time: COVID-19 Aftershocks
This publications offers findings from a rapid assessment in 24 countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia confirming alarming predictions of increased child hunger, violence, and poverty due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Coping With COVID-19 – A Demand-Side View from Uganda

This study assesses the awareness of low- and middle-income segments in Uganda about COVID-19 and their use of digital financial services during this time.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on CICO Agents- Kenya Report

This report highlights the impact of COVID-19 on cash-in and cash-out agents in Kenya and offers recommendations to policymakers and digital financial service providers.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on CICO Agents- Uganda Report

This report explores the impact of COVID-19 on cash-in and cash-out agents in Uganda highlighting the strategies agents adopted to stay afloat during the pandemic.


View All Publications Related to COVID-19 >

Blogs & Opinion

If you have a blog idea and would like to write for the FinDev Blog, please see our review our guidelines. We do not cross-post blogs that have been published elsewhere, but if you wish to share an existing blog post in our next FinDev Weekly Update, you can send it to us using our contact form

Socio-Economic Impact

1 Billion People Live in Informal Settlements Worldwide: Here are Seven Key Challenges They’re Facing During COVID-19

COVID-19 Is a Serious Blow to the Remittances That Millions of Families Depend Upon

How Ghanaians Are Coping With COVID-19: Five Lessons From the RECOVR Survey

Imagining Post-COVID Recovery

Supporting the Most Vulnerable Amid the Risk of Returning to Poverty: What the RECOVR Survey Tells Us about Pandemic Response in Colombia

How Are Small Businesses in Colombia Coping With the Pandemic?

Microfinance Sector Responses

Fighting Extreme Poverty During COVID-19: Two Proven Ways to Build Resilience in Times of Catastrophic Disruption

COVID-19 Highlights Need for Stronger Safety Nets for Gig Workers

PART III: Thoughts on Solidarity-Based Lending in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Power of Local Women: An Innovative Social Capital Model Addresses Rural Financial Inclusion in India During COVID-19


Fintech Start-ups in Côte D’ivoire Amid Covid-19: Expectations From the Government and the Regulator

SaaS Startup Kwara Is Helping SACCOs Deliver During COVID-19

Will Smart Contracts Usher in a New Wave of Financial Inclusion?

Funding Landscape

DFIs, COVID-19 and Financial Inclusion: A Conversation With Richard Greenberg of DFC



For the latest news on the impact of coronavirus on financial inclusion, visit our News listing pages.

IFC Provides $100M to Daycoval to Support SMEs Facing the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic

State Bank of Pakistan Extends COVID-19 Mitigation Measures Till December

Mastercard Enables Faster Remittances During Pandemic

Cambodia: Micro-Loan Borrowers Face COVID-19 Crisis


View All News Related to COVID-19 >


For the latest events - hosted by organizations worldwide - exploring the impact of coronavirus on financial inclusion, visit our Events listing page.

COVID-19 Gendered Impacts on Livelihoods in Africa Webinar Series

Rural Livelihoods in a Changing Food System

Global Fintech Fest: "Fintech: With and Beyond COVID"

Online Workshop Series: Debt Restructuring in Microfinance During COVID-19


View All Events Related to COVID-19 >

View All Webinar Recordings >

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