In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, the digital finance industry has witnessed a transformative shift. The integration of digital financial services into traditional banking systems has not only improved access to financial services but also fostered financial inclusion for underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries. And Digital Frontiers’ Certified Digital Financial Practitioner (CDFP) programme has played a pivotal role in this evolution.
Over the past seven years the CDFP programme has empowered digital finance professionals to develop a comprehensive understanding of digital finance and its leading markets. Through specialised courses, participants gain expertise in their respective areas, culminating in a 360° understanding of digital finance. But the true measure of success lies in the impact it has delivered to its participants and the wider industry.
The CDFP programme continues to exceed expectations by attracting a growing number of professionals from around the world. From 309 participants in 2016 to 3,527 in 2021, the programme’s popularity has soared, reflecting the demand for knowledge and expertise in the digital finance industry. Among those participants, a substantial majority hail from the Global South (80% in 2022), indicating the programme’s impact in bridging the digital divide and promoting financial inclusion.
The real transformative power of the CDFP programme is reflected in the testimonials of its participants. Practitioners have reported significant improvements in their knowledge and skills, identifying best practices to implement in their home countries and recognising gaps and needs within their industries. The courses have been particularly instrumental in enhancing product design, development, and management, as well as instilling a customer-centric approach. Many participants have also noted an enhanced fluency in digital financial services-related language and vocabulary.
CDFP alumnus Manal Yassin is a good example. Since completing the course, she’s leveraged her enhanced knowledge of digital finance and payment systems to progress from being the manager of mobile financial services at Sudatel Telecom Group to becoming a senior manager and ultimately an independent consultant. She credits the CDFP programme for empowering her with new ideas and experiences, which she now channels into founding the Shomoul Fintech Association in Sudan. Through this community, she actively supports CDFP participants, providing mentorship and advocating for the programme’s benefits.
“The value that CDFP can bring to people’s careers in a country like Sudan is big. We have been isolated for different reasons and the current provided services are a bit old-fashioned. We need new ideas, for me CDFP equips me with those new ideas and experiences with other markets … those courses are very valuable and can make a difference in countries like Sudan,” says Yassin.
As for the long-term success of the CDFP programme, a follow-up survey with the first group of 100 CDFP alumni, found that 97% of them reported tangible benefits from their certification. These benefits included career advancements such as promotions within their organisations or higher positions in new organisations. Many alumni have become recognised experts in the field of digital finance, while others have ventured into independent consulting, leveraging their newfound knowledge and expertise to shape policies and drive change.
The CDFP programme’s impact is also not confined to individual success stories. It’s been instrumental in shaping the landscape of digital financial services in various countries. Alumni have actively contributed to the delivery of new and improved inclusive digital financial services through independent consulting and involvement in financial inclusion projects.
Take Abenaa Addai, a fellow alumni and independent consultant, who’s been writing a recovery plan for microfinance institutions in Guinea Bissau. She attributes her success to the knowledge gained from the CDFP programme, saying, “I often go back and research and look at what kind of documents we were using and use that as the basis in my consulting work.”
CDFP continues to have a resounding impact on digital finance professionals worldwide. As the CDFP programme continues to attract professionals globally, it holds the promise of shaping the future of digital finance and driving positive change in the financial landscape.