The significance of strengthening economic growth and sustainable development through financial inclusion is critical for the Asia-Pacific region. Harnessing the advent of digital technology to enable financial inclusion is one of the most promising opportunities to bring millions of unserved and underserved people across the region into the formal financial sector. This is especially true for people who are living at the base of the economic pyramid (BoEP) and for women, who are disproportionately marginalized.
However, while the promise of digital finance is appealing, the introduction of digital services does not solve many of the root causes of financial exclusion and also creates new challenges for those at the BoEP. Policymakers and regulators have an important role to play to ensure that digital services are delivered responsibly and that they are achieving the desired outcomes including enhanced resilience and economic opportunity for women and other disadvantaged groups.
This policy guidebook aims to support the region’s policy makers and regulators to capitalize on the opportunity to harness digital technology as an effective means to advance financial inclusion and enhance the wellbeing of those at the BoEP, including women.