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Featured VEEI research and insights


Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs): Examining their support for low-income homeowners and the implications for underserved communities

MDIs are unique banks and credit unions that provide financial services to many underserved communities. In this paper, we leverage data on over 400,000 Visa credit cardholders to explore homeownership rates among MDI and non-MDI customers, finding that low-income individuals served by MDIs are more likely to own a home than those served by non-MDIs. Moreover, we find that this gap in homeownership is wider among Black and Hispanic Americans. (Our findings among Black Americans are summarized in this supplemental infographic.) By helping their customers to purchase and retain homes, MDIs provide opportunities for their customers to build wealth, maintain financial stability, and pass additional benefits along to their families and communities.

How digital healthcare payments can drive access and affordability in Nigeria

This paper examines the potential for digital payments to help address healthcare affordability and access constraints in Nigeria and outlines five steps to drive benefits for patients, providers, and government stakeholders across the sector.

APEC micro and small enterprises: Digitizing toward a resilient and sustainable future

VEEI surveyed more than 5,000 firms in nine APEC economies in a quest to assess the performance of micro and small enterprises over the past few years, identify contributors to their success, and pinpoint areas where they require assistance. This study gave us ample reason to be optimistic, and we hope that it provides useful insights for the public and private sectors as they work together to craft a sound ecosystem for small business success.

A shared-technology model to address MDIs’ digital needs

Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) have long maintained a unique position in the financial services industry as the institutions that understand and can serve their communities better than any other financial institution segment. Recent financial shock has increased the challenges these important institutions are already facing. In this paper we assess recent trends in an important sector of US community banks and propose some collective actions solutions for enhancing their competitiveness.

Closing gaps in the digital ecosystem: How leaders in the public and private sectors can partner to build trust and advance people’s skills

During the past five years, increased participation in the digital economy has fueled improvements to incomes, livelihoods, and well-being. This note provides guidelines for what like-minded stakeholders in the public and private sector can do together to drive equitable participation in the digital economy amidst rapid technological advancement.

Building an inclusive, equitable digital economy

A framework for digital equity and inclusion through opportunity, skills and trust.

Digital, diverse, and going global: A new dawn for women-led firms

This paper explores the factors that contribute to the success of women-led firms, and offers policymakers a set of recommendations to help them grow.

Transforming for global reach: Small business in the UK

This paper explores the results of a survey of businesses in the United Kingdom (UK) and finds that digital capabilities—in terms of payments, access to online marketplaces, and cross-border reach—are key to small business recovery and resilience.

Dubai MSMEs: Digital and resilient

VEEI and the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism surveyed businesses in Dubai and found that digital capabilities are key to small business recovery and resilience. The paper offers recommendations to further promote and empower micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are a key pillar of Dubai’s economy.


From access to opportunity: Digital skills drive women’s economic empowerment

More women around the word have gained access to a financial account—helping to narrow the financial access gender gap. But access is not enough. In this paper we set out a roadmap to move beyond access towards economic empowerment and focus on how digital skills can power female entrepreneurs beyond access to empowerment. This paper is accompanied by a video of our case study.

High time to close the gender gap: A call to action for Latin American and Caribbean policymakers/Es hora de eliminar la desigualdad de género: Un llamado a los gobiernos de América Latina y el Caribe

This call to action proposes five strategies that governments can adopt to address the severe gender gaps and support women’s economic empowerment in LAC/Este documento presenta cinqo estrategias para cerrar las desigualdades de género y promover a las mujeres en América Latina y el Caribe.

Global economic cooperation: Writing the rules for the digital economy

New barriers and regulatory fragmentation in the digital economy risk harming global economic growth. International economic cooperation can help countries innovate and grow without sacrificing resilience, system safety, and protection of consumers.


Accelerating sustainable tourism: Areas for public-private collaboration

In this paper, we examine the definition and measurement of sustainable travel and tourism, discuss barriers, and explore the ways that the public and private sectors can shape consumer behavior to accelerate sustainability in the industry. See the executive summary for our key findings and recommendations.

Decoding ISO 20022: Lessons for cross-border payments

This paper builds on the foundational work of Demystifying ISO 20022 and explores another perspective that is often overlooked—the uniqueness of different use cases and payment methods and the implications of a broad-based approach to ISO 20022 implementation in cross-border payments. To address these challenges, policymakers and the financial services industry can leverage insights from past ISO 20022 implementations, while also applying lessons learned from the cards ecosystem to modernize different payments systems, enhance interoperability, and foster an environment for innovation.

The power of choice: Options and trade-offs for digital remittances

This paper details the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute’s 2023 research into remittance options and costs for 50 global corridors. It finds that an “under 3 percent” cost option was available in 40 of the 50 corridors, but a key need is digitally enabling migrant workers to find the options that are best for them. Other insights are offered from the new data, many of which relate to VEEI’s previous remittance policy recommendations.

Reimagining ridership: Open-loop payments and the future of urban mobility

This paper illustrates the important role open-loop payments play in creating frictionless, sustainable and inclusive urban mobility ecosystems.

Meeting the needs of end users: The three layers of cross-border payment solutions

There are three main types of cross-border payment solutions available today, and they operate in different ways across the experience, rules and processes, and infrastructure layers to meet the needs of end users. This paper encourages policymakers to take a more nuanced look at cross-border payments and how solutions satisfy distinct needs as improvement opportunities are identified and prioritized.

Let’s give a voice to end users: Cross-border payments, attributes, and use cases

There are more cross-border payment attributes than are often discussed, and consumers, businesses, and remittance senders place different priorities on the attributes according to their needs for a given use case. This paper gives a voice to end users and encourages policymakers to take a more nuanced look at cross-border payments and the distinctive needs they satisfy as improvement opportunities are identified and prioritized.

The economic empowerment of digital remittances: How to unlock the benefits of innovation and competition

The paper examines the latest global remittance trends; describes the advantages of digital remittances and digital enablement of migrant workers, their families, and communities; and offers five recommendations for unlocking the benefits of innovation and competition for everyone, everywhere. See these key insights and recommendations for a shorter summary of the paper.

Designing for success: How to build on the G7 foundational principles for retail CBDC

This paper provides our perspective on which of the G7 principles should be considered first; what matters in payment transactions; and, based on our experience operating VisaNet for several decades, what have we learnt that can be applied to CBDC (central bank digital currencies).

Making cross-border B2B payments more efficient, fast, and transparent

Market-led innovation is critical in continuously improving the cross-border payments experience for consumers, businesses, governments, and all participants across the value chain.

The art of public money: Policy considerations for central bank digital currencies

Over 100 central banks are in some stage of researching or developing digital currencies. We offer policymakers who are exploring a CBDC a series of tough questions to address as they decide whether and how to move forward.

Demystifying ISO 20022: Evaluating the benefits and limitations of new messaging standards

Messaging standards are core to the payment system, enabling institutions across sectors to connect and transact efficiently and effectively.

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