Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Contesting digital finance for the poor

Ozili, Peterson K (2020): Contesting digital finance for the poor. Forthcoming in:

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Abstract

This article critically examines digital finance as a pro-poor private sector intervention for international development. It examines the turn from ‘microfinance for the poor’ to ‘digital finance for the poor’. It then considers three key issues, and contest the argument that digital finance is pro-poor. Notably, proponents argue that digital finance can improve development outcomes, but this is based on weak economic logic; secondly, proponents argue that digital finance for the poor is good business - this claim is very weak because evidence suggest that digital finance is good business only with government support. The article further argues that digital finance for the poor will expose the poorest to multiple risks in the financial sector. Therefore, digital finance for the poor should be a contested enterprise.

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