Current Trends in International Funding for Financial Inclusion

Presenting insights from the 2015 Cross-Border Funder Survey on funder priorities

The 2015 Cross-Border Funder Survey reports commitments from the largest international funders of financial inclusion, as of 31 December 2014. CGAP has conducted the survey annually since 2008, and in partnership with MIX since 2012.

Funding for financial inclusion was stable in 2014, although the weaker euro caused a slight decrease in dollar terms. To a greater degree than in previous surveys, funders this year emphasized that due to other global priorities it was difficult to promote financial inclusion internally. Nevertheless, their commitments generally followed the same patterns as in years past, with the majority of funding directed at retail-level financial service providers through debt, which accounts for half of all commitments. There was an increasing interest in digital financial services and a rapid and sustained growth in funding to the Middle East and North Africa. Going forward, funders report that they will increase their funding to sub-Saharan Africa and continue to focus on supporting FSPs, as well as payment systems and consumer protection programs.

After steadily increasing in previous years, international funding of financial inclusion is estimated to have plateaued at $31 billion in 2014. These data align with Official Development Assistance (ODA) trends reported by OECD, which showed that international aid (across all development sectors) also stabilized in 2014.

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