Key Success Factors of a National Financial Inclusion Strategy

Governments, through National Financial Inclusion Strategies (NFIS), have the capacity to implement transformative reforms to ensure a wide availability of financial services. Today, we are glad to be launching research into the key success factors of an NFIS which ensures mobile money is well integrated into the financial inclusion agenda.

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Mobile money is a key driver of financial inclusion, with the number of registered mobile money customers reaching 866 million in 2018. 31 emerging markets have seen an impressive increase in financial inclusion rates, which can be attributed to the growth in active mobile money use. However, a significant proportion of the global population still lack access to basic financial services. According to Global Findex, 1.7 billion people around the world remain unbanked, with evidence of vast disparities along the lines of gender, age and levels of economic development in different countries.

Policy reforms are necessary in addressing this challenge by ensuring a wide availability of payment services and other financial services, offered by both traditional players such as banks, and non-bank players such as mobile money providers. Many NFIS recognise and leverage the power of digital technologies in achieving financial inclusion targets, and as more countries continue to make financial inclusion commitments, the fruits of NFIS in driving regulatory reforms are increasingly apparent.

By drawing examples from different countries, this paper highlights key enablers of a successful NFIS for mobile money, which include:

  • High-level project sponsorship;
  • Project planning;
  • Issue framing for excluded groups;
  • Stakeholder mapping;
  • Governance and implementation structures;
  • Public participation/stakeholder engagement;
  • Monitoring and evaluation (M&E); and
  • Strategy refresh.

While different countries face different challenges and require nuanced strategies, the above enablers are critical underlying factors that determine the successful implementation of national financial inclusion strategies. In addition to outlining the above considerations during the drafting and implementation of the strategy, we also identify relevant stakeholders integral to the success of an NFIS. The effective implementation of an NFIS depends on the capacity, commitment and cooperation of the various stakeholders involved.

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