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Why microfinance institutions go digital: An empirical analysis


  • Gregor Dorfleitner
  • Davide Forcella
  • Quynh Anh Nguyen


While the role of digital solutions to foster financial inclusion and the development of the microfinance sector are widely acknowledged, questions concerning the variation in the ability and willingness of microfinance institutions’ (MFIs) adoption of these tools remain unanswered. This paper studies the determinant of the use of digital support solutions in the microfinance sector by using a global sample of MFIs derived from a survey by YAPU Solutions on rural lending and IT solutions. We discover the evidence that suggests the adoption of these tools is consistent with the social performance of MFIs. Furthermore, the results of the study indicate that the profitability of the institutions is associated with a larger application of digital support solutions. Macroeconomic factors, the development of the country in which the institution is located, also impact MFIs’ decisions regarding integrating digital solutions into their services and internal operational processes.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregor Dorfleitner & Davide Forcella & Quynh Anh Nguyen, 2021. "Why microfinance institutions go digital: An empirical analysis," Working Papers CEB 21-003, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/320683

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    More about this item


    Microfinance institutions; Fintech; Digital solutions; Social performance; Digitization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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