Today, digital financial services (DFS) has evolved from a global trend due to a reality in asserting their critical role in enhancing financial inclusion in many region, especially as observed in Africa and Asia. The “A Digital Pathway to Financial Inclusion” session discussion highlighted the impressive role plus how DFS can be effective in advancing financial inclusion in the Arab region.
At the start of the session, the moderator Mr. Stephen Rasmussen (CGAP) presented several DFS trends with global and regional statistics and discussed the five elements of the DFS ecosystem: enabling infrastructure, enabling regulations, diverse service providers, interoperability and compelling uses case.
Since the development of DFS is based on a cooperation between technological companies and financial institutions, it was critical to understand their perspective on DFS and how can DFS in the Arab region lead to similar outcomes as the others. One of the speakers on this panel was representing Software Group discussed the advantages of digital and what can be offered to MFIs and their clients.
Furthermore, representatives from MFIs who are offering DFS; BRAC in Bangladesh and Taysir Microfinance from Tunisia shared the benefits of these services in terms of efficiency and outreach especially to the excluded communities. They also highlighted the challenges and lessons learned from offering DFS in order for others to take them into consideration while they are preparing to offer these services. Indeed, this session discussed the real potential of DFS in enhancing financial inclusion in the Arab region.