This paper argues that the time is right for banks to step up their efforts to serve micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in emerging markets. There are three reasons for our optimism. First, an estimated 60 percent of global banking revenue growth over the next decade will lie in emerging markets. Second, more and more banks in emerging markets are finding ways to overcome the difficulties of serving the important MSME segment. Third, innovations in technology, risk assessment and business models are increasingly facilitating their effort.
It is not just banks in emerging markets that should grab the opportunity. Western banks will find innovative practices that they can use to refresh and adapt their traditional banking models back home.