Ep. 22 | Digital Financial Inclusion

The COVID-19 crisis has led to an acceleration in electronic payments of social protection benefits through individual bank accounts or mobile money. According to one global estimate, 80 million women opened accounts for the first time during the pandemic to receive government payments. Digital payments have long been seen as the first step towards improving people's financial inclusion and, by extension, their financial health.  

In this episode, we discuss the idea of unbanked individuals gaining access to banking services and digital transactions, financial literacy, and savings options, and how this contributes to insurance, remittances, and other aspects. We also highlight the importance of careful and deliberate policy design to ensure that digital accounts can, in fact, open the door to greater financial inclusion instead of ending up as dead ends. 


Our guests for this episode: 

  • Dr. Moizza Binat Sarwar, Research Fellow, Equity and Social Policy, ODI 
  • Astrid de Valon, Digital Financial Inclusion and Women's Economic Empowerment team lead, WFP  


In the quick wins segment, Dominique Leska-See (Advisor for Digital Social Protection, GIZ) and Anita Mittal (Senior Advisor, Lead - Digital Convergence Initiative, GIZ) present the Digital Convergence Initiative for Universal Social Protection. 



Cash Transfers and Digital Financial Inclusion: Regional evidence from the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Nepal

Increasing digital financial inclusion in the Asia-Pacific region: Key factors for cash recipient inclusion

Webinar | Demand and supply perspectives on Digital Financial Inclusion and cash transfers: findings from a WFP study in the Asia-Pacific region 

Publication | Is going digital the solution? Evidence from social protection

Webinars | Talking interoperability - Dialogue Series 

Publication | Digital Financial Inclusion and Women’s Economic Empowerment through Cash Transfers 

Website | Digital Principles 

Convergence Initiative Flyer