A new study that hopes to help with expanding digital financial inclusion in emerging markets, including Afrika, has been announced. Titled "Aligning Expectations: The Business Case for Financial Inclusion", the study was published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, along with the Mastercard Foundation.

![IFC World Bank Mastercard Digital Financial Onclusion](/content/images/2018/08/20180802_211902.jpg)
Download the "Aligning Expectations: The Business Case for Financial Inclusion" study.

The study presents a set of best practice financial modeling benchmarks for agent banking and mobile money solutions.

β€œThe benchmarks show that there is a viable business case for digital financial services to expand financial inclusion. The pioneers of mobile and agent banking had to guess their way forward, but now these benchmarks make it less costly and risky for new entrants to the market,” said Riadh Naouar, Manager of IFC's Financial Institutions Group Advisory in Sub-Saharan Afrika.

IFC and the Mastercard Foundation hope that their benchmarks will aid financial institutions as they launch or expand digital financial services for greater financial inclusion in emerging markets, a critical step in achieving inclusive economic growth.

Helping to expand financial inclusion

Oft times when digital financial inclusion is mentioned and implemented one finds that the per transaction fees charged by some of the mobile money solutions leave you questioning who is benefiting. However, the aim of this study is to help financial institutions design sustainable business models for affordable and accessible financial services, targeting previously unbanked populations such as small-scale entrepreneurs, low-income individuals, and rural communities.

β€œAgent banking and mobile money have begun to transform the financial landscape in many African markets, and there is an increasing body of evidence to show that this has real, positive impact on people's lives and livelihoods,” said Riadh Naouar.

The benchmarks study is a knowledge product of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a $37,4 million joint initiative of IFC and the Mastercard Foundation to expand micro-finance and advance digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Afrika.

Cover image credit: Mastercard Identity Check.

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