This open letter from Greta Bull at CGAP details 4 key drivers of change in financial inclusion for 2017: technology distribution, government regulation, open ecosystems, and data. Youtap is proud to contribute to the technology distribution aspect of financial inclusion, making mobile money payments easier in emerging markets.

But technology on its own is not the answer: distribution is the other side of the equation, and its importance is often overlooked in the excitement over new technologies. To access digital financial services, access to a mobile connection is important, but it is equally important to be able to convert cash to digital money and, at least for now, back into cash again. So mobile phones have been important in places like Kenya, but the real game changer has been the emergence of large and well-functioning agent networks. Until accounts are more widely available or people are willing to accept the leap into purely digital money, agents will remain a fact of life.

Greta Bull