David Porteous

David Porteous

Founder & Chair

David is the Founder and Chair of BFA Global and Co-founder and Chair of Digital Frontiers Institute. He has undertaken consulting assignments in the areas of financial strategy and policy for a wide range of clients including public clients such as DFID, the World Bank, CGAP and private clients including banking and telco groups. Prior to relocating to Boston in 2004, he was active in executive leadership roles in the development finance sector of South Africa with private and public financial institutions as well as FinMark Trust, an NGO involved in promoting financial inclusion policies and projects, and a public-private partnership which sought to promote low-income housing securitization. He has written several books including Banking on Change, a book which chronicles and analyzes changes in the retail financial sector of South Africa in the decade since democracy. David has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Cape Town, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a PhD (Economics) from Yale University.

* Executive leadership roles in the development finance
* Active in executive leadership roles in the development finance sector
* Promote low-income housing securitization

Publications by this author

Bringing it home: understanding problems hindering fintech lending for SMEs in South Africa today
Inclusive Fintech |

Bringing it home: understanding problems hindering fintech lending for SMEs in South Africa today

Blog 6 of the Recovtech series, this post written in partnership with members of the South Africa Recovtech team....

By David Porteous
Inclusive fintech lending–Lessons from US and China
Inclusive Fintech |

Inclusive fintech lending–Lessons from US and China

Blog 5 of the Recovtech series, this post written in partnership with members of the South Africa Recovtech team....

By David Porteous
Salary advances are helping gig workers in India make essential purchases during COVID-19
Digital Financial Services |

Salary advances are helping gig workers in India make essential purchases during COVID-19

While some have worried that salary advances could undermine financial health, our research has found that they can help...

By Malika Anand
Forces and uncertainties shaping future fintech ecosystems
Inclusive Fintech |

Forces and uncertainties shaping future fintech ecosystems

Blog 3 of the Recovtech series, this post written in partnership with members of the South Africa Recovtech team....

By David Porteous
How can fintech innovation drive inclusive growth?
Inclusive Fintech |

How can fintech innovation drive inclusive growth?

Blog 4 of the Recovtech series, this post written in partnership with members of the South Africa Recovtech team....

By David Porteous
How domestic fintech ecosystems shape the nature of innovation
Policy and Regulation |

How domestic fintech ecosystems shape the nature of innovation

Blog 1 of the Recovtech series, this post written in partnership with members of the South Africa Recovtech team....

By David Porteous
Fintech forests: classifying and comparing fintech ecosystems
Policy and Regulation |

Fintech forests: classifying and comparing fintech ecosystems

Blog 2 of the Recovtech series, this post written in partnership with members of the South Africa Recovtech team....

By David Porteous
Are we there yet? The evolution of fintech regulation in Nigeria
Inclusive Fintech |

Are we there yet? The evolution of fintech regulation in Nigeria

Nigeria is a hotspot for fintech innovation in Africa as investors and startups respond to Nigeria’s positive environment for...

By David Porteous
iWorkers: Will digital technology reward ‘under-rewarded efforts’?
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

iWorkers: Will digital technology reward ‘under-rewarded efforts’?

Santiago Levy is the former Minister of Social Development in Mexico and more recently IDB’s chief economist. In 2018,...

By David Porteous
Digital pathways to inclusive growth: BFA Global’s next generation of work in livelihoods
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

Digital pathways to inclusive growth: BFA Global’s next generation of work in livelihoods

The new economy presents opportunities and risks for digital workers Our excitement about digital platforms is grounded in their...

By David Porteous
iWorkers: How large is the African market for digital commerce?
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

iWorkers: How large is the African market for digital commerce?

Africa’s largest e-commerce platform, Jumia, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on 12 April 2019 at a...

By David Porteous
iWorkers: How digital changes the nature of informality in Africa
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

iWorkers: How digital changes the nature of informality in Africa

The defining characteristic of most work in Africa is its informality: according to the ILO, 85% is done in...

By David Porteous
iWorkers – a new bellwether of the digital economy?
Financial Health |

iWorkers – a new bellwether of the digital economy?

How inclusive is the digital economy really? As governments and businesses around the world hasten to digitize, this is...

By David Porteous
Digital Solutions Are Transforming Informal Workers into African iWorkers
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

Digital Solutions Are Transforming Informal Workers into African iWorkers

Originally posted on the ICTworks website The defining characteristic of most work in Africa is its informality: ​according to...

By David Porteous
Africa’s Gig Opportunity
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

Africa’s Gig Opportunity

Originally posted on the Project Syndicate website By introducing portable benefits for gig workers, African governments and digital platforms...

By Olga Morawczynski
Digital Platforms: Creating “Servant” Economies or a Step Toward Empowerment?
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

Digital Platforms: Creating “Servant” Economies or a Step Toward Empowerment?

Potential Benefits to “More than a Gig and Less than a Job” Employment in the Global South In his...

By David Porteous
What will the rise of online shopping in Africa mean for jobs?
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

What will the rise of online shopping in Africa mean for jobs?

Originally posted on the World Economic Forum website, February 19, 2019 Around the world, the new technologies behind digital...

By David Porteous
Can Africa Show How Gig Workers Get a Fair Share in the Digital Economy?
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

Can Africa Show How Gig Workers Get a Fair Share in the Digital Economy?

By Amolo Ng'weno
Let’s Be Real: The Informal Sector and the Gig Economy are the Future, and the Present, of Work in Africa
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

Let’s Be Real: The Informal Sector and the Gig Economy are the Future, and the Present, of Work in Africa

By Amolo Ng'weno
Why Alternative Lending Struggles to Scale in Emerging Markets
PAYGo and Essential Services |

Why Alternative Lending Struggles to Scale in Emerging Markets

And What Fintech Companies Can Do About It   During the past 10 years, the US, the UK and...

By David Porteous
Is it China’s Golden Age in Digital Financial Inclusion?
Livelihoods and Microenterprise |

Is it China’s Golden Age in Digital Financial Inclusion?

Last week, I had the chance to attend a workshop of the Global Partnership on Financial Inclusion, a G20...

By David Porteous
Are Fintech Companies Going to Threaten Mainstream Financial Service Providers in the Next Five Years?
Financial Health |

Are Fintech Companies Going to Threaten Mainstream Financial Service Providers in the Next Five Years?

A closing panel at this year’s EMERGE 2016 Forum on Consumer Financial Health debated this question. Panelists came from...

By David Porteous
Does the Environment in Ghana Really Enable Inclusive Fintech?
Inclusive Fintech |

Does the Environment in Ghana Really Enable Inclusive Fintech?

  Ghana seems to be an exciting place for fintech providers in general to thrive right now. Last week...

By David Porteous
Rethinking Financial Inclusion Through Small Businesses and their Smartphones
Digital Financial Services |

Rethinking Financial Inclusion Through Small Businesses and their Smartphones

How FIBR combines low-income customer’s relationships with local businesses, emerging data captured through smartphones, and a broader set of...

By David Porteous