What's New

Addressing the knowledge gap on the financial needs of firms in the midstream of agricultural value chains

Jun 27th, 2023 • by Kate Ambler, Jeffrey R. Bloem, Alan de Brauw, and Sylvan Herskowitz

Agricultural value chains (AVCs) are an essential component of food systems—aggregating, processing, and delivering food to retailers. Without them, consumers throughout the world would have little to eat. Yet a set of key value chain actors—firms in their midstreams—are understudied, even as they have been undergoing substantial transformation over recent years to serve rapidly urbanizing societies.

Increasing financial access in Ethiopia through mobile money

May 1st, 2023 • by Alan de Brauw

The mobile money revolution has begun to substantially increase financial access around the world. Mobile money accounts allow people previously excluded from the formal financial sector to access savings accounts, make payments to merchants, and make person-to-person transfers, among other services. Research has shown that mobile money access can have important effects on key outcomes such as improved resilience and food security.

Mobile banking in Bangladesh: An opportunity with constraints?

Apr 24th, 2023 • by Jeffrey R. Bloem and Khandker Wahedur Rahman

Digital financial services (DFS), particularly mobile banking, have the potential to extend financial services to unbanked populations.[1] Specifically, DFS reduce direct and indirect transaction costs. Mobile banking allows clients to access bank accounts, save money, and send and receive payments directly from their mobile phones, eliminating travel to a physical bank. Additionally, mobile banking reduces social or administrative constraints—such as in-person meetings and paperwork, and safety concerns while travelling with money—which can be especially salient for women.