FinDev COVID-19 Update | 27 Aug - 09 Sep 2020
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- While designed to help customers, moratoriums are posing a challenge for MFIs and non-bank financial institutions who “find themselves caught in the middle between client moratoriums and their own creditors.”
- Policy makers and regulators can help ensure that financial stability measures taken in time of crisis reinforce financial inclusion goals. One way to do this is to increase the chances of survival of financial institutions that serve low-income customers.
- Key lessons are emerging from the use of digital technology to deliver social assistance during the pandemic. Investments in digital infrastructure, such as payment and ID systems, enabled countries to make disbursements quickly; however, in-person backup options were essential to reach those without access to digital channels.
- The finance ministry of India says that India is experiencing a “V-shaped recovery” as many industries have begun to recover; however financial inclusion was flagged as an area in need of special attention.
- Fintechs in Indonesia offered to support the government in disbursing COVID-19 economic recovery funds, even while most start-ups are coping with the impact of the pandemic themselves, according to an MSC report. MSC offers recommendations for fintech stakeholders and governments to survive the pandemic.
- Remittances to Nepal have remained high, dropping only by 0.5 percent compared to last year, despite predictions by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank of a 14 to 28.7 percent drop.
- Nepali insurtech company Stonestep has partnered with the Swiss Capacity Building Fund to launch an e-health and COVID-19 insurance product.
- The latest results from the Garment Worker Diaries in Bangladesh reveal that 25 percent of those surveyed have had to use savings to cover expenses, 18 percent borrowed money, and 15 percent disobeyed quarantine rules to earn an income.
- According to the Central Bank of Kenya, the value of monthly mobile money transactions in the country reached a record $4.18 billion. The surge was linked to the growing use of cashless payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Inter-African Coffee Organization announced a $14.3 million plan to alleviate market disruption and income challenges for millions of coffee smallholder farmers. Prices are going down and the loss of exports threatens 6.6 million jobs, mostly in East Africa.
- According to the RECOVR survey conducted by IPA in Côte d’Ivoire, almost half of the survey sample have become unemployed since February. Many have also seen their hours and earnings decline, with a more severe impact on informal workers.
- In Cameroon, BGFI Bank has partnered with the government to provide a $17 million credit line to support SMEs, 72 percent of whom have been affected by the pandemic.
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 decree in Peru promotes the formalization of agricultural markets where farmer and indigenous communities can sell their products directly to consumers. The country also urges local governments and other institutions to include farmers in formal financial services.
- The Chambers of Commerce of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have joined forces with ILO to launch a program that will provide micro, small and medium entrepreneurs with free practical tools to increase business productivity and profitability, with the objective of helping them join the formal economy.
- According to Colombia Fintech, the pandemic has accelerated the demand in Colombia for “nanocredit” (very small loans), which is typically used to pay urgent consumption needs. More than 40 institutions, most of them fintechs, offer such loans, especially to those who do not have access to traditional financial channels.
- Chile approved a cash contribution for the most vulnerable families and households led by women. The measure also promotes employment among women by providing a cash incentive to employers.
For more on LAC, check out the latest Portal FinDev Weekly Update in Spanish.
- Accounting giant KPMG released a new report showing that the fintech market in the MENA region is set for expansion and diversification “for the foreseeable future,” fueled by new initiatives geared toward supporting the sector.
- An increase in fraud cases during the COVID-19 pandemic propelled payroll solutions provider Edenred UAE to roll out a revamped mobile banking application called C3Pay for more secure transactions.
- The Egyptian government plans to establish a $2 billion investment fund to develop the non-banking financial services sector and clear the path for the country’s digital transformation.
- The leading local delivery hub, Delivery Hero SE, which serves over 20 million consumers in the Arab world, announced a partnership with Mastercard to digitize its payment chain across all their brands in the region.
For more on the Arab world and resources in Arabic, check out the latest FinDev Weekly Update in Arabic.
Blogs & Opinion
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