Data Opportunities and Risks for Financial Inclusion

The use of data is rapidly shifting the limits of financial inclusion. For clients with no formal credit history, providers can now use alternative forms of data – from social media engagement to location tracking – to assess an individual’s creditworthiness. While these advances merit enthusiasm for their potential to break down access barriers, they raise new questions around data security and fraud, consumer consent, discrimination or price segmentation, and opaque privacy policies. These risks are especially acute for low-income individuals who often have low digital literacy and are less likely to understand or use basic privacy protections.

Financial Inclusion Week content around this theme discussed the healthy tension between data use and risks and steps we can take to ensure that the digital economy evolves in a way that advances inclusivity while putting appropriate safeguards in place.

WEBINAR: Responsible Algorithms for Inclusive Finance

As algorithms increasingly help financial service providers segment customers, automate underwriting, detect fraud and provide recourse, concerns about the fairness of these systems has grown. This webinar focused on algorithmic bias, how it can happen in financial inclusion, the trade-offs faced by providers, and emerging industry and regulatory approaches for accountability.

CFI’s Alexandra Rizzi kicked off this session with a short presentation, followed by a panel discussion that included the perspectives of the provider, the regulatory and the consumer.

“The quality of data collected impacts the decision made about a person. That has implications for consumers around the world and for the stability of the financial system.” -Malavika Raghavan

Dillon Gardner, Head of Data Science, Apollo Agriculture
Louis Graham Director, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics
Malavika Raghavan, Head, Future of Finance Initiative, Dvara Research
Thea Anderson, Director, The Omidyar Network
Alexandra Rizzi, Senior Research Director, Center for Financial Inclusion


WEBINAR: Beyond Consent: Choose (Or Consent to) Your Own Webinar Adventure

The model of individual consent for data usage increasingly appears ill-suited to the digital age. Some have even concluded that the consumer consent model is broken.

In this “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style webinar, CFI data lead Alexandra Rizzi speaks with David Medine on emerging approaches to data privacy and protection that go beyond consent.

Alexandra Rizzi Senior Director of Research, Center for Financial Inclusion
David Medine Consultant, Medine Consulting


"If you go to a restaurant, you don’t have to go to the kitchen to make sure your food is handled properly. Likewise, it shouldn’t be the consumers’ burden to figure out how mega companies are using their data."
David Medine, Consultant, Medine Consulting

WEBINAR: Open Banking: How to Design for Financial Inclusion

This is a presentation by Ariadne Plaitakis of CGAP’s upcoming working paper on open banking, entitled “12 Design Elements of Open Banking to Ensure Financial Inclusion.” Based on a landscaping review of 12 open banking regimes, we provide our early findings on what types of open banking-enabled products and business models we believe would be beneficial for financial inclusion, and how these may alleviate relevant pain points of low-income individuals. We then examine design implications these findings have on open banking regulatory frameworks. To conclude, we identify 12 design components that are critical to any open banking regime, and what specific considerations emerging markets should contemplate if they wish such regimes to support financial inclusion as a policy objective (“financial inclusion by design”).

Ariadne Plaitakis Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP


WEBINAR: Articulating the Value Proposition for Alternative Data

This discussion features leaders at three innovative social enterprises pioneering the use of alternative data to drive effective and responsible credit decisioning. We explore the value proposition in positioning alternative data with financial service providers, as well as look to bust a few myths about the implementation of alternative data. As we enter into a new world with mountains of data emerging every day, how can FSPs leverage alternative data to “say yes” more often, but do so responsibly?

Chris Czerwonka Founder & CEO, Mosabi
Madeleine Gleave Chief Data Scientist, Nithio
Mark Degenhart Manager, Accenture Development Partnerships
Michele Tucci Chief Product Officer, CredoLab – Alternative credit scoring


PODCAST: Driving Capital to Inclusive Fintech Solutions

Mapping the inclusive fintech landscape is challenging, with new companies emerging around the world and introducing products with the potential to transform the lives of underserved populations. Investors need data and benchmarks to understand this space and make informed comparisons of performance and inclusivity across emerging fintech players.

Alex Kessler of CFI sits down with CFI’s Marie Valdez (Inclusive Fintech 50 lead) and Chrissy Martin (fintech data solutions lead), for a Q&A on the data practices they are observing among fintechs and how our data initiatives are driving capital to those fintechs best placed to expand access to meaningful financial services. 

Alex Kessler, Research Manager, Center for Financial Inclusion
Chrissy Martin, Consultant, Fintech Data Solutions, Center for Financial Inclusion
Marie Valdez, Director, Inclusive Fintech 50, Center for Financial Inclusion


We wanted to develop a way for fintechs to demonstrate they are committed to closing the market gaps that impact financial inclusion.
Chrissy Martin, Consultant, Fintech Data Solutions, CFI

WEBINAR: Data Management and Analytics Capabilities Toolkit

Unleasing the power of data to transform your business.

Andrew Nkolola Chief Executive Officer, aYo Insurance Brokers Zambia Limited
Orlean Cole


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