This report, Opportunities to Foster Digital Financial Services Market Development in Guatemala, aims to provide an overview of the Guatemalan digital financial services (DFS) market, the financial lives and needs of some low-income and marginalized populations, especially women, and offer recommendations on how to better serve these populations and grow the DFS market in the country. It is the final output of phase one of the project Fostering Digital Financial Services Market Development in Guatemala, an initiative developed and funded by USAID through DAI’s Digital Frontiers program and implemented with partner institution ConsumerCentriX Inclusive Business (CCX).

Despite its rich culture and economic standing in the region, Guatemala has high social inequity, including a poverty rate of 52.4 percent, which has been further exacerbated by factors such as climate change and COVID-19-induced economic shocks. The country’s economy benefits from significant remittance inflows, which make up 18 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), but this has yet to translate into significant reductions in poverty. In terms of financial access, less than half of adults have access to formal bank accounts, and many do not rely on formal lending sources for loans despite significant needs for capital. Women, Indigenous Peoples, and youth face disproportionately high levels of poverty, low levels of financial inclusion, and segment-specific barriers to accessing finance.