Digital Finance Evidence Gap Map Analysis: Paving the Impact Pathway

Overview of the impact of digital finance on low-income clients, their households and communities

The digital finance community relies heavily on the impact evidence of traditional financial services and products, as many studies have explored the effect of traditional finance products on clients. From these studies, we understand that the benefits depend on the product, its design, the delivery channel, and the demographics of those using it. Despite this growing evidence base, less systematic attention has been paid to how the digitization of these products may vary or enhance the impact.

This impact literature mapping exercise scans and assesses the state of knowledge of digital financial products and services beyond those accessible through analog channels. The focus is on understanding whether there is an incremental benefit for the client when the design and or delivery of these products is digitized. This report intends to fill a critical gap in knowledge about the impact of digital financial products on resource-constrained clients.

In addition to the main report, the following two companion pieces are included:

  • Evidence Gap Map (EGM) is an interactive data source which summarizes the impact evidence of diverse digital finance products on several client outcomes. Its purpose is to present what products were studied, how they were designed and delivered, and the positive, negative or null evidence uncovered.
  • Digital Financial Services Evidence Gap Map: Methodology discusses the EGM methodology and elaborates on how the researchers refined the EGM scope, established the screening criteria, developed the coding framework, and produced the EGM.

About this Publication

By Niamh Barry, Annabel Schiff & Jonathan Donner