The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) has become a frontrunner in financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa. With his view, Dr. Jihad Al Wazir in a recent post by the guardian reminds us of the driving factors behind his country’s success in enabling more people to use basic financial services.
Financial inclusion is a means to an end
“In fragile states, a key challenge is job creation. Microfinance loans in my country gave an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to access credit and start a business.”
Payments are the gateway
“We have already developed a modern electronic payment system to ensure safe, real time, electronic payments, including the infrastructure for mobile banking – but the challenge is to get business owners on board with digital payments.”
Data creates trust
“In Palestine, getting accurate credit data on people was key to giving our risk averse banks the confidence to lend to the public. By creating a Credit Bureau […], we were able to increase our bank’s loan to deposit ratios from 28% to 57%.”
More thoughts about how to create opportunities for people to save and borrow in volatile economies can be found in the guardian’s “Guide to financial inclusion in fragile states”.
By Atilla Yuecel