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ESAF Report: The Future of Financial Inclusion through E-banking Models in Palestine

COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION
Philippe Breul, Stéphane Czarnocki, Jeremiah Grossman, Robert Stone
Shorebank International, AED, Oxford Policy Management
USAID
February 1, 2011

The current infrastructure of the financial sector in Palestine remains rather a traditional one, with banks continuing to rely heavily on their branch networks. There are some encouraging signs of growth in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sales (PoS) infrastructure, while almost universal access to mobile phones may also provide an opportunity for the future. Although access to bank accounts is widespread, significant numbers of people continue to rely on cash for savings and transactions; and access to credit is very limited, particularly for micro and small enterprises. There therefore appears to be a high level of unsatisfied demand for financial services in general among individuals and enterprises in Palestine, and a high potential demand for electronic banking services in particular.

This ESAF Report, by the Oxford Policy Management Institute and Shorebank International, for AED’s ESAF program, addresses the issue of the use of technology in enhancing the reach and cost effectiveness of delivery channels for banking and payments products and services in Palestine.

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By reducing costs and bringing services closer to customers, electronic financial services can reach both underbanked and unbanked customers
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