The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion commits to launching the Financial Inclusion 2020 (FI2020) campaign, exploring the forces that will shape financial inclusion over the next decade, such as demographic changes and the growing gaps among economic classes, in 'Mapping the Invisible Market.' Accion is convening diverse groups of stakeholders in working groups as part of FI2020's Building a Roadmap to Financial Inclusion, to build a movement to achieve full financial inclusion, using the year 2020 as a focal point to galvanize action, and 'make visible' those segments of the population that are currently underserved, through a global effort to bring together public and private players to identify, design, and implement solutions to obstacles to financial inclusion, including in products and services, access and value for customers, and promoting a policy and regulatory framework that balances the need for access with the need for client protection.
This commitment focuses on the launch of a new Roadmap to Financial Inclusion and the work involved in transforming the Roadmap principles into strategies and action, through working groups including: Financial Capability, Technology, Client Protection, Credit Reporting and Data, and Clients and Products. These groups will partner to find solutions to financial inclusion, especially for under-served populations such as the very poor, youth, the elderly, rural populations, migrants, people with disabilities, women, and post-conflict and internally displaced population. Accion will continue to provide the staff for the project and bear the responsibility for moving the project forward.
The Roadmap will be launched at the Global Forum in October 2013, and through 2014, Accion will focus on: financial inclusion for the elderly; disseminating the Roadmap and committing actors to implement relevant recommendations; selecting 2-3 Roadmap recommendations for concentrated action among a coalition of actors; and testing the Roadmap in one or more key markets.
As a result of the work completed up to and including the Forum, there will be a clear understanding among major players in financial inclusion about the way forward, including a mapping of priority actions and the actors to take them. The roadmap will serve to unite policy makers and providers around a common set of goals and common understanding of means. More specifically, Accion hopes to create the following concrete changes:
- Private sector perspectives will be more clearly articulated in the ears of policy makers, bringing greater realism into policy debates.
- Providers who think largely in competitive terms will identify areas where cooperation is required.
- Microfinance leaders will enlarge their vision of their potential role in full financial inclusion.
- There will be a clear, informed prioritization of actions. Consensus about those actions will be shared among more of the key influencers.
- The needs of the most disadvantaged and still-excluded populations will be brought more squarely into the vision and planning for full inclusion.
- Political will to reach full inclusion by 2020 will grow, and will be informed by a carefully thought-out road map that can serve as a touchstone for future decisions.
Specific objectives for this commitment:
October 2013: FI2020 Global Forum in London. Presentations at Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Foromic, International Association of Money Transfer Networks, and other key meetings
November 2013- February 2014: Post-Forum briefings and strategy sessions on specific Roadmap recommendations. Potential partners include CGAP, World Bank, World Economic Forum, UNCDF, SEEP, and others
March - June 2014: Secure partnerships to work on select Roadmap recommendations. Develop webinar series to work with World Granny to address financial needs of elderly populations
July-August 2014: Prepare a report on 'progress toward inclusion'
Over 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to formal financial services. These include the very poor, youth, the elderly, rural populations, migrants, people with disabilities, women, and post-conflict and internally displaced populations. Providing access to quality financial services for lower income individuals enables them to better manage their financial lives, protect their families against risk, and make the most of economic opportunities. Those living at the base of the pyramid (BoP) are further vulnerable to possible ruin from natural disasters, fires, crop failures, and government upheavals - a whole host of events that can wipe out the work of a lifetime overnight. In the world today, 51 percent of adults have bank accounts (Findex), but in developing countries, that figure falls to 41 percent, and for people in the bottom 40 percent of the population, to 30 percent. What is more, many people are 'banked' in name but not genuinely 'included'; among the people in developing countries, only 7 percent both have an account and use it actively (compared to 64 percent in developed world). Many more people save than use financial institutions as a place to save. Financial inclusion is widely recognized as a necessary goal across a broad spectrum of providers, from credit card companies to regulators to banks to telecommunication giants. It is also widely recognized that strengthening microfinance institutions, while important, is not the only way to build financial inclusion. A broader spectrum of public and private players has a role to play to achieve full financial inclusion.
Accion would welcome the participation of new partners, such as financial institutions, consumer goods companies, foundations, telecommunications companies, international donors and financial regulators, as it continues to work on implementing the Roadmap to Financial Inclusion and disseminates it to a broader audience. As witnessed at the Global Forum, all of these institutions or bodies have a significant role to play in the continuation of next steps for the Roadmap.
Accion will also continue to offer speaking engagements, webinars, materials, and other information-sharing options. It is eager to engage institutional actors in FI2020 and would welcome the opportunity to engage in dialogue with interested parties. Furthermore, following the success of the Global Forum, Accion and CFI are highly interested in sharing best practices with and advising potentially interested parties in the formation of regional FI2020 Fora throughout the world.