Community Development Innovation Review

March 2011

The Latest Frontiers for Financial Inclusion: Using Mobile Phones to Reach the Unbanked


Financial institutions are not winning any popularity contests these days. Banks are derided as the instigators of crisis and pillagers of wealth instead of caretakers of savings and partners in growth that they are meant to be. Even worse, many claim that it was policymakers’ obsession with helping uncreditworthy low-income households gain access to mortgages that caused the crisis in the first place. Subtly implicating the poor in the colossal mismanagement of the financial sector by the (primarily) rich and the regulators that enable it is wrong. The truth is that banks and other financial service providers haven’t done nearly enough to help the poor. The good news is that this is beginning to changeand we have the world’s mobile network operators to thank.

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Other articles in this issue

Global Agricultural Value Chains: Sustainable Growth as a Means for Sustainable Development

International Housing Partnership Exchange

Catalyzing American Retail Investment in Community Development Finance: What Can We Learn from Other SRI Success Stories?

Unlocking Local Capital for Development: Shared Interest’s Guarantee Fund for South Africa

Translating Plain English: Can the Peterborough Social Impact Bond Construct Apply Stateside?

Learning Social Metrics from International Development

CRA Goes Global: A Good Idea in the United States Could Use a Makeover and a Bigger Audience

Why Latin America Urgently Needs CRA, and Why CRA Won’t Work for Latin America

Using the Framework of the Community Reinvestment Act to Support Rural Communities in China