Recent research on the impact of financial services on the lives of low-income people provides valuable insights. However, these studies tend to focus on microcredit or a single financial product, such as savings or mobile money. As a result, an overly simplistic and product-focused story has emerged. Recognizing the need for a more nuanced and clearer impact narrative, this Focus Note synthesizes evidence since 2014.
This research highlights three overarching insights 1.Financial services improve resilience by facilitating recovery from shocks and encouraging investments that are riskier but potentially more profitable in the longer term. 2. Women’s control and ownership of financial services can improve their bargaining power in the household and enable positive outcomes, such as increasing their participation in the labor force. 3. Emerging evidence suggests that financial inclusion can contribute to increased economic growth and reduced poverty.
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