Why Benchmarking Matters
HOW DO WE KNOW WE’RE BEING EFFECTIVE?
Achieving financial inclusion requires continuously evaluating how well the industry is progressing and how far we still have to go. Benchmarking activities help us measure progress and identify priorities for research and action. To reach 3 billion people who are left out of or poorly served by the financial sector, a full understanding of progress and setbacks is essential.
INDEPENDENT AND CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE
We are committed to keeping the industry focused on financial inclusion that benefits consumers. CFI assesses public industry data, like the Global Findex and the Gallup Global Financial Health Study with an independent and critical eye, shining a spotlight on where action is most needed. We also participate in joint benchmarking exercises with partners to examine specific aspects of the sector, like the regulatory environment or risk perceptions. In all our benchmarking and research endeavors, we are keen to reality test prevailing narratives, ask tough questions and shine a light on overlooked trends.
WHAT HAVE WE ACHIEVED?
Benchmarking the Enabling Environment
Together with partners, CFI sponsors and contributes to the Global Microscope—a project led by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Intended to benchmark the enabling environment for promoting financial inclusion, the Microscope assesses the institutional and regulatory ecosystem based on selected indicators across over 50 developing economies. We have helped the Microscope evolve from a study of microfinance in Latin America and the Caribbean into a global study of the broader financial inclusion ecosystem. Additionally, we also look at new indicators on the enabling environment for digital financial services.
With 2018 marking its eleventh edition, the Microscope is one of the few benchmarking tools in the financial inclusion sector that spans a decade or more. Regulators across the world use its scoring and rankings as yardsticks for their own performance. Investors also consult the study when considering investment strategies. Many countries are cognizant of where they stand in the global rankings and are motivated to improve.