Research and Impacts of Digital Financial Services

Paving the way towards a new generation of products, policies, and strategies for financial services

A growing body of rigorous research shows that financial services innovations can have important positive impacts on wellbeing, but also that many do not. This paper discusses the latest evidence on what works in financial inclusion. It further summarizes research on key financial market failures and on products and innovations that address specific mechanisms underlying them.

The paper concludes by highlighting open areas for future work, and by asking key questions to set the stage for further discussion:

  • How to support the delivery of advanced savings products?
  • Is there a viable model for insurance?
  • How to scale safe digital credit?
  • How to align incentives for reaching women and the poorest?
  • What are the best ways to leverage digital channels for G2P?
  • How to connect finance to end goals?

About this Publication

By Karlan, D., Kendall, J., Mann, R., Pande, R., Suri, T. , Zinman, J.