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La evaluación de Ingreso Solidario demuestra la importancia del programa como herramienta de política pública para mitigar los choques de ingresos, laborales y alimentarios ocasionados por la pandemia del COVID-19 y reducir la caída en pobreza de los hogares vulnerables más golpeados por su presencia en Colombia.

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Brief
Date:
May 24, 2022
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Formal financial inclusion remains low in Nigeria: just about three percent of adult Nigerians have borrowed from formal sources, and less than half (forty-five percent) have a formal account at either a bank or microfinance institution (EFInA Access to Finance Survey 2020). The most common reasons for not having a formal account are negative perception of formal institutions, little access to banks, or not having enough income to save. This suggests that the broader ecosystem of formal financial services is not conducive toward inclusion—either through low demand or poor provision of the right financial products. While both men and women lack access to formal financial services, especially credit, a “one-sized” approach is not appropriate to onboard all Nigerians.

This report finds that different segments of the population have their own financial preferences and behaviors. Younger women are more sophisticated with their credit than older women, and will therefore benefit from more complex, high-yield products. For older women, more effort is required to instill trust in financial institutions, as such they will benefit from approaches that they are familiar with face-to-face interactions, and services integrated within existing social networks.

There are currently over 100 million adult Nigerians that are potential clients for financial services, and this report provides valuable insights on their behaviors and financial preferences.

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Report
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May 19, 2022
Toolkit

The toolkit is aimed at addressing the opportunities and challenges of using digital credit transaction data for consumer protection market monitoring. Digital credit adoption has increased in lower- and middle-income countries over the past decade. These products have differentiated themselves from traditional lending in three primary ways; they are “instant, automated, and remote.” These differences may drive financial inclusion and benefits to borrowers including access to formal credit, reduced transaction costs, and resilience to risk. However, these same attributes may also place consumers at higher risk. In particular, because digital credit is easier to obtain, consumers may find themselves taking on loans they cannot afford or with fees they do not understand.

The increase of digital credit also presents researchers, regulators, and financial service providers with an opportunity to more easily monitor consumer protection outcomes. With the automation of these services, providers’ transaction records record everything from the time that loans were disbursed to what fees were charged.

The toolkit explains the reasons for consumer protection supervision, the advantages and limitations of administrative data for supervision, as well as organizational prerequisites for its use. From there, the toolkit outlines how digital credit transaction data can be analyzed to monitor consumer protection issues, presents data security issues associated with an information request and recommends tools for keeping data safe within this process, and provides a guide for obtaining data.

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Research Resource
Date:
March 26, 2022
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Digital government -to -person (G2P) payments have emerged as an efficient and safe way to disburse social assistance at scale as countries expand cash transfers to provide economic relief to households affected by COVID -19. The Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), after experiencing delays and inefficiency during the first tranche of its COVID -19 Social Amelioration Program (SAP) with paper forms, manual processes, and physical cash delivery, moved quickly to digital cash transfers for the second tranche of SAP (SAP 2). It partnered with six financial service providers (FSPs) and provided cash transfers digitally to a significant share of 14 million SAP 2 beneficiaries.

This study, carried out by the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and the World Bank, in collaboration with DSWD, aims to understand beneficiaries’ experience in receiving digital G2P payments and identify key areas for further strengthening. The study is based on a survey conducted among sampled beneficiaries who received SAP 2 benefits through digital channels.

Learn more about this publication on the World Bank's website.

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Report
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March 17, 2022
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While digital financial services have evolved rapidly in Nigeria over the last decade, this growth is largely driven by the already banked population. A joint study by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and Inclusion for All investigated three key barriers preventing many from joining the formal financial system: the reliability of financial services, the cost of using these services, and the limited transparency of cost information. The study found that: financial transactions conducted by phone fail often, service providers make it difficult and costly to find accurate pricing information (only 1 in 5 providers offer a toll-free customer care line), and the prices consumers pay can exceed caps set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The findings suggest providers can build trust and usage of these services by strengthening their infrastructure, improving access to accurate pricing information, and increasing compliance with existing price caps.

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Report
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February 16, 2022
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Over the past decade, predatory and fraudulent practices in digital finance and financial technology have increased globally. The use of mobile applications for such purposes is a concern given the increased ubiquity of mobile devices, ongoing concerns about low financial and digital literacy in many population groups, and anecdotal evidence on a proliferation of methods and tools some finance app providers use to exploit vulnerable households and businesses. In addition to the direct harm caused to consumers, this can lead to mistrust of digital finance, which can delay financial inclusion efforts and undermine the benefits of financial technologies.

The objective of this project is to explore whether high-frequency app data and applied machine learning techniques can be leveraged to create a system for flagging and reporting highly suspect apps. As a “proof of concept,” the researchers draw on historical app meta and review data for 63 countries covering from January 2020 to April 2021 to document the prevalence of such problematic apps and test the efficiency and accuracy of such methods. To keep the project tractable, the researchers focus on a targeted subset of personal loan apps. The pilot informs future experimentation with the approach and suggests possible real-world applications, which could help provide targeted shortlists of highly suspect individual apps, country- or global-level monitoring to understand prevalence of problematic apps at a given point in time, or be fed into buyer-beware labelling on the app stores.

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Report
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February 10, 2022

Las pequeñas y medianas empresas (PYME) representan una importante fuente de empleo en muchos países de ingresos bajos y medios. Por lo tanto, encontrar las medidas más efectivas para ayudar a las pymes a responder y recuperarse cuando se enfrentan a crisis económicas, como las provocadas por el COVID-19, es de gran relevancia en materia de políticas. En Colombia, los investigadores están evaluando el impacto económico de otorgar préstamos de estímulo a las pymes, distribuidos a través del programa de ayuda COVID-19 del gobierno ("Unidos por Colombia"), en la supervivencia, las ganancias y el empleo.

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Brief
Date:
February 09, 2022
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While digital financial services have evolved rapidly in Nigeria over the last decade, this growth is largely driven by the already banked population. A joint study by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and Inclusion for All investigated three key barriers preventing many from joining the formal financial system: the reliability of financial services, the cost of using these services, and the limited transparency of cost information. The study found that: financial transactions conducted by phone fail often, service providers make it difficult and costly to find accurate pricing information (only 1 in 5 providers offer a toll-free customer care line), and the prices consumers pay can exceed caps set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The findings suggest providers can build trust and usage of these services by strengthening their infrastructure, improving access to accurate pricing information, and increasing compliance with existing price caps.

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Brief
Date:
February 08, 2022
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About 17 percent of the world’s population has received at least one COVID-19-related cash transfer payment since the onset of the pandemic. Many of these transfers have been conducted digitally to efficiently and safely provide economic relief to affected households. Amongst low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that offered cash transfers, 58 disbursed funds  directly to a fully functioning bank account, an account only for benefit withdrawal, or a digital non-bank account. Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) research from the Philippines, Colombia, and Bangladesh explores consumers’ experience  with digital cash transfers, and supports policy recommendations to improve the effectiveness of G2P payments and future financial  inclusion.

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Brief
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January 19, 2022

Los programas de transferencias monetarias condicionadas (TMC) han demostrado su eficacia para mejorar el nivel educativo en algunos contextos, pero no se han realizado evaluaciones rigurosas sobre el impacto que tienen los diferentes diseños de este tipo de programas. Investigadores de Bogotá, Colombia, evaluaron si cambiar el cronograma de pagos y el tipo de TMC podría llevar a un mayor impacto en el nivel educativo. Los resultados revelan que todas las variantes de TMC tuvieron un impacto positivo similar sobre la asistencia escolar, pero las transferencias que tenían como condición la continuidad de la educación tuvo un mayor impacto en matrículas escolares de niveles de educación secundaria y terciaria, en particular para niños y niñas de poblaciones en riesgo.

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Brief
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December 10, 2021
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In Rwanda, we have continued our global tradition of rigorous, applicable research by building foundational research capacity and conducting evaluations in areas of pressing national concern. Examples of our work covered in this brief offer promising insights into everyday issues that affect the lives of the Rwandan poor.

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Brief
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November 12, 2021
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Mobile financial services have become the main channel of financial inclusion, especially in low-income countries. However, consumer protection failures in the sector remain common. In Uganda, researchers partnered with the Uganda Communications Commission to conduct a phone-based survey among 1,000 users of mobile financial services to inquire about their experiences. In addition, they are leveraging access to mobile network operators’ customer care logs to test and implement new tools for analyzing complaints and resolving disputes.

This final report summarizes the key findings and recommendations from IPA's work with the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) analyzing consumer complaints records. A report summarizing the findings from the consumer survey can be found here.

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Report
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September 29, 2021
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The expansion of digital credit in recent years creates an urgent need to monitor the digital credit market to develop policies to improve product suitability and responsible lending. In Kenya, this expansion over the past five years has increased access to credit but also led to new consumer risks. The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) and IPA audited loan data from Kenya’s leading digital credit providers to inform the development of consumer protection policy strategies for the tens of millions of Kenyans who use digital credit products.

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Report
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September 23, 2021
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We study a simple savings scheme that allows workers to defer receipt of part of their wages for three months at zero interest. The scheme significantly increases savings during the deferral period, leading to higher post-disbursement spending on lumpy expenditures. Two years later, after two additional rounds of the savings scheme, we find that treated workers have made permanent improvements to their homes. The popularity of the scheme suggests a lack of good alternative savings options, and analysis of a follow-up experiment shows that demand for the scheme is also due to the scheme’s ability to address self-control issues.

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Working Paper
Date:
July 01, 2021

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