This paper identifies key processes shaping the microfinance sector in the coming decades. The paper examines the geography of microfinance, highlighting differing evolution patterns and challenges across the world. It looks at the widespread adoption of a financial systems approach in the microfinance sector. This is set to continue because of two main processes: a shift in focus from poverty-lending towards financial service provision; and the involvement of formal banks in microfinance. The paper looks at the increasing focus on graduation programmes to support ultra-poor people, linking microfinance to social protection and other services. It outlines the great potential of new, low-cost ICT products to enable the development of new microfinance services. Finally, the need to regulate microfinance is discussed.