Sector at a Crossroads? e-MFP: Financial Inclusion Compass 2019 Published

During the recent European Microfinance Week, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) launched the Financial Inclusion Compass 2019 on emerging short, medium and long-term trends in the financial inclusion sector, with digital transformation of FSPs, client protection, client-side technology innovations and agri-finance among the most significant trends identified by a broad array of sector stakeholders.

Launched for the first time in 2018, the Compass leverages e-MFP’s multi-stakeholder membership and position in the inclusive finance community, giving practitioners, investors, donors, academics and support service providers the opportunity to assess and describe the importance of various Trends, evaluate and give opinions on New Areas of Focus, and provide open-comment qualitative input on the expected (and hoped-for) direction of financial inclusion progress.

Like in 2018, the survey behind the 2019 Compass was mixed-methodology, asking for scoring of selected trends in terms of their current importance and ratings of ‘Areas of Focus’ in the coming 5-10 years, as well as providing comments on each. Finally, respondents were asked to give open comments on a series of questions that looked at challenges, opportunities, opportunities for different FSPs, the role of new entrants, and forecasts for the medium-term future. An outstanding response was received from practitioners, investors, researchers, support service providers and infrastructure organisation representatives – working in areas all over the world.

In terms of the Importance of Trends, Digital Transformation (institutional-side) came in clear first place, followed by Client Protection, Digital Innovations (client-side), Regulatory Environment and Social Performance and/or Impact Measurement. Other significant upward movers included New Categories of FSP and New Focus Areas – WASH, green, housing, education, etc. Significant downward movers were Expanding to New Client Segments and Governance.

Read the report : Financial Inclusion Compass 2019