Central Bank Digital Currency – An Opportunity for Financial Inclusion in Developing and Emerging Economies?

Mobile money, fintechs, and more recently, private cryptocurrencies and stablecoins are offering individuals and merchants new ways to meet their financial needs and, in the process, contribute to financial inclusion. Motivations for implementing central bank digital currencies (CBDC) by central banks include enhancing financial stability and monetary policy, improving payment systems, and contributing to financial inclusion.

Could CBDC be designed in a way that is secure and accessible, while reaching those with low levels of digital and financial literacy? How does CBDC avoid reinforcing existing digital divides and gender disparities?

This report aims to unpack these considerations for developing and emerging countries by evaluating the extent to which CBDC can advance financial inclusion. It looks at the current state of financial inclusion across different developing and emerging countries and regions, and identifies the main use cases CBDC can contribute to.

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