Using Broadband to Enhance Financial Inclusion

Mas, Ignacio
Jan 2016
The progress of financial inclusion in the Latin American and Caribbean region is constrained by the high cost of providing and accessing financial services. On the client side, micro- and small-sized firms, as well as low-income households, face high transaction costs as a result of the challenges of getting to points of service and meeting documentation requirements. On the provider side, the lack of economies of scale for financial service transactions and the difficulty to obtain reliable information on these kinds of clients generate high operational costs. These elevated costs can undermine the profitability of serving these market segments that, in turn, weaken competition. This paper provides basic information relating to the prospects and constraints of using broadband channels and applications to increase financial inclusion in the region. It is a useful resource for policymakers, financial institutions, and the broader development community in the Latin American and Caribbean region.