Development funders are increasingly embracing the potential of digital financial services (DFS) to promote financial inclusion. As these funders — bilaterals, multilaterals, development finance institutions and private foundations — continue to look for ways to respond to emerging crises and opportunities, the support for digital finance and the ecosystem around it is increasing in prominence. However, until now, we have not had a systematic way of understanding how much funding was committed to DFS and where it was going.

In order to create an evidence base and understanding of where and how funds flow to DFS, we developed a unique and innovative methodology to identify, classify and measure, the funding flows going to DFS. This project aims to help the inclusive finance sector better coordinate, fill gaps, and identify new pathways for funding the sustainable development of digital financial services for financial inclusion. This report highlights four key findings gleaned from an early analysis to test and refine this methodology. The findings can provide funders with information to guide their approaches to supporting the development of reliable and effective DFS systems for the benefit of low-income populations around the world.


Howard Miller

Former Research Director

Howard led CFI’s work on climate, developing an understanding of how financial services can help low-income people prepare for and respond to climate-related risks. He specializes in rural financial inclusion and the market systems approach, and has worked on rural and agricultural finance analyses and strategies for clients including IFAD, GIZ, MasterCard Foundation, CGAP, and UNCDF. He has worked extensively with the FSD Network, helping to set up FSD Uganda and FSD Mozambique, as well as establishing FSD Africa’s work on financial inclusion for refugees and forcibly displaced people. He has also carried out significant research into India’s digital finance ecosystem, writing papers for clients including the Center for Global Development, USAID, and FCDO. Prior to CFI, he was the principal consultant for Nathan Associates in Delhi and London, and before that was an ODI fellow working on financial sector policy for Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. He has published a number of papers and blogs covering topics including smallholder finance, funding flows to the financial inclusion sector, inclusive fintech, digital finance in agriculture, and alternative data credit scoring. Howard has an master’s in economics from Cambridge University and a bachelor’s in economics and econometrics from Bristol University.

Explore More

Privacy as Product, FSP designers
Toolkits and Guides

Privacy as Product: Privacy by Design for Inclusive Finance

Sign up for updates

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.