Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Categories / Poverty

Financial Services for the Poor

Afford Two, Eat One: Understanding Motivations for Spending and Saving

In March this year a team from Myanmar-based Proximity Designs, frog and strategy consultancy Studio D Radiodurans mapped the changing financial landscape in Myanmar. Over the two month project — funded by the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion — we explored the diverse financial landscape for the poor in Myanmar and uncovered the nuances of income and loan cycles

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UN Agency Expands Mandate to Get Banking Services to the Poor

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has recently taken on a new and challenging task: to promote digital financial inclusion through the adoption of technical standards. The UN Agency for Telecommunications, more commonly known for its work in fields such as radio frequency spectrum, cloud computing or new generations of mobile technology, has established a new focus group with the aim to further unlock the potential of digital financial services to serve the poor. The focus group will build on best practices to adopt a series of recommendations that the ITU can then translate into international standards for national regulators and market players.

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New MMU Discussion Paper on Smartphones & Mobile Money: The Next Generation of Digital Financial Inclusion

Converging trends offer great promise for the next generation of digital financial inclusion efforts based on smartphones. Devices are getting cheaper, global alliances are advocating for affordable data access, and mobile operators are investing in developing the necessary network capacity and pricing models to manage the inevitable transition from feature phones to smartphones.

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We Can Prevent Another Food Price Crisis

Five years ago today, amidst a global economic recession and world food price crisis, world leaders gathered at the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, and made one of the largest financial commitments to fight hunger and poverty alleviation to date – $20 billion in aid to agriculture.

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Fewer Than a Quarter of Indians Have Active Bank Accounts – What To Do?

Throughout time, all around the world, households have saved as insurance against emergencies, for religious and social obligations, for investment and for future consumption. As a consequence, when poor households’ desire and need to save meets a safe, easily accessible opportunity to do so, their capacity to save, their commitment to saving, and the amounts they manage to save, are remarkable.

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Big Data and How it Can Serve Development

Our personal and digital interactions are being recorded in data warehouses around the world. In developed markets we see a value exchange for this “big data;” individuals elect to trade personal information for life-enhancing services (better deals, more precise GPS directions, improved credit access, etc.) However, the proliferation of personal data now has individuals rightly concerned that their information is overexposed: that companies and governments know too much.

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