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A new framework for measuring digital financial services

Insight2Impact (i2i)


National surveys, pilot surveys

Survey analysis, framework development


The primary objective of the project was to develop a measurement framework (MFW) for digital financial services (DFS) with a focus on digital payments specifically. While some definitions of digital payments include all non-cash payments, the definition used in this project was narrower, requiring the channel as well as the store of value to be digital. These ‘fully digital’ payments were the focus of this project.


The team developed a framework to characterise various measurable components of the digital payments ecosystem that could be tracked over time. This framework enabled us to structure existing indicators and identify new digital payment indicators. The primary analytical framework considers access, adoption and usage indicators, distinguishing between receiving payments and making payments. Given that existing published indicators tend to explore access and adoption, the focus of this analysis was principally on usage.

The principle data typology that supported the development of these indicators was demand side survey data. Five instruments were explored in detail, including the nationally representative A2F Nigeria survey from 2016, pilot FinScope surveys from Cameroon and Zimbabwe in 2017 and 2018, and pilot surveys developed by i2i from Mexico and Nigeria. Aside from demand side survey data, supply side data most commonly on infrastructure, product offerings and pricing can also be used to populate indicators.


Populating indicators was not always feasible. Survey instruments were not necessarily designed with this measurement framework in mind. In addition, questionnaires differ, sometimes significantly, making it difficult to derive a common set of indicators across survey instruments. The basis for calculating indicators off this data and their precise meanings therefore differ. Some suggestions for refining indicators and aligning the questions are made in the report, mindful of the specific circumstances that prevail across countries and segments of the market.

Project resources


Digital Financial Services Measurment Framework