Seizing the Moment: On the Road to Financial Inclusion

Financial Inclusion 2020 Synthesis Report (PDF)

October 2013
Can the world achieve global financial inclusion by 2020? Throughout 2013 the many participants in FI2020 came together in asking this question to build a shared vision for the future of financial inclusion and develop a common roadmap guiding how to achieve it. In this report, with the insights from this collaboration, we look at what financial inclusion is, why it matters, and why we’re confident it can be achieved in the foreseeable future.


About Financial Inclusion 2020


Meeting Client Needs with Access and Quality by 2020

aboutfi2020_pullquote1Financial Inclusion 2020 (FI2020) is building a movement that mobilizes stakeholders around the globe to achieve full financial inclusion, using the year 2020 as a focal point for action.

Low and moderate income people around the world need financial services such as credit, savings, insurance, and payments to assist them in managing their lives and to build better futures for their families. However, very few have access to such services from formal financial service providers. Moreover, our concept of full inclusion goes beyond access to include a focus on the quality of services and the capability of clients to use them. Quality financial inclusion goes hand in hand with building a stable financial system, deepening the financial sector, and promoting broad economic participation and growth.

Financial inclusion is increasingly seen as a priority policy goal, but a coherent “movement” in that direction remains elusive for a number of reasons: the diverse range of actors who need to be involved, understanding the financial needs of the underserved, and the changing opportunities technology presents, to name only a few.

Financial Inclusion 2020 is building a shared roadmap for action, working in partnership with other organizations with specialized expertise. The Center for Financial Inclusion has a track record of promoting dialogue among decisionmakers and developing a shared language and vision, with an eye toward turning vision into action. FI2020 builds on existing resources and industry efforts for financial inclusion, and incorporates geographic diversity and the perspectives of a range of stakeholders.

The Stage Is Set for Dramatic Leaps in Inclusion

Over the next decade, technology advances and economic growth in developing countries will enable many who have been excluded from access to financial services to become valued clients. Technology will make services more available and affordable, while income growth will fuel a demand in services. Access to financial services is accelerating for other reasons, as well:

about_pullquoteMicroinsurance is burgeoning. The International Labor Organization reports that microinsurance is now reaching half a billion people. The potential market for microinsurance, according to Lloyds, is between 1.5 billion and 3 billion policies.

Big private sector players are making plays in the market. Fast moving consumer goods companies can leverage their experience with supply and demand chains to reach low income producers, distributors and consumers.

High level policymakers across the global community are promoting financial inclusion. The G20 has named financial inclusion among its priorities and is following through with actions such as promoting the incorporation of financial inclusion perspective into standard setting bodies like the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Furthermore, central bankers and ministers of finance from over 80 nations in the Global South are participating in the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)—a global network of financial policymakers working to advance inclusion. 

Data is increasingly available. For example, the new Global Findex provides, for the first time comparable, demand-side data on financial service use across more than 100 countries. And “big data” is revolutionizing credit reporting by capturing information from alternative sources such as phone logs and utility bills, which provides new opportunities to create credit histories for millions of people. 

The importance of a client focus is gaining momentum. Initiatives such as the Smart Campaign, Microfinance Transparency, the Social Performance Taskforce, and the Paris Appeal, are looking at how financial consumers can be protected and benefit from engagement with formal financial services. Industry researchers and innovators, such as Grameen’s AppLab, IFMR Trust, and Nokia, are working to create new services and delivery methods that better address client needs. 

Engaging Diverse Players to Achieve a Unified Goal

Full financial inclusion will only be possible with collaboration among the private, public, and non-profit sectors. FI2020 is bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders to identify the most important steps each can take to advance financial inclusion around the globe. All of these unique stakeholders’ interests can align for a larger purpose:


Through FI2020, we aim to achieve:

  • Clearer agreement among major players about the path to full inclusion 
  • Greater unity among policy makers and financial services providers 
  • Creation of new relationships to promote cooperation in a neutral setting 
  • Better understanding of the role of microfinance in financial inclusion 
  • Growth of political will to achieve financial inclusion by 2020 
  • Greater emphasis in financial inclusion on quality and the hard-to serve

Learn more about the three principal activities of FI2020:



2012-2013 Partner Support:

  Lead Partner


 Lead and Founding Partner

Principal Partners

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                          Principal and Founding Partner

 Project Partners


                                                                    Media Partner   CFI Founding Partner

Global Forum Partners                                                 Global Forum Supporters

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Roadmap Working Group Chairs 



Steering Committee

Shamshad Akhtar, Secretary-General's Senior Adviser on Economic Development and Finance and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

Susy Cheston, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

Patricia Devereux, MasterCard Worldwide

Graham Macmillan, Citi Foundation

Kate McKee, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor

Jason Lamb, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Elisabeth Rhyne, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

Douglas Sabo, Visa Inc.

Evelyn Stark, Assistant Vice President, Financial Inclusion, MetLife Foundation

Consultative Process Partners

Many organizations also contribute their technical expertise. Working groups are chaired by Citi Foundation, Visa Inc., CGAP, International Finance Corporation, and the Center for Financial Inclusion and include about 40 members:

• Allianz • Banco Solidario • Bankable Frontier Associates • Business Information Industry Association (BIIA) • Center for Financial Inclusion/Smart Campaign • Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) • Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) • Citi Foundation • Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) • Deutsche Bank • UK Department for International Development (DFID) • Equifax • Equity Bank • Grameen Foundation • GSMA • HMS Wireless Consulting • Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) • International Finance Corporation (IFC) • MasterCard Worldwide • Microfinance Opportunities • MicroSave • Omidyar • Pakistan Microfinance Network • Policy and Economic Research Council (PERC) • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation • The Financial Services Roundtable • Visa Inc. • Vodafone • Western Union • World Bank

Outreach Partners

CARE International - UK • Cherie Blair Foundation for Women • Child and Youth Finance International • G3 ICT Initiative • LeapFrog Investments • Making Cents • Microcredit Summit Campaign • Microinsurance Network • SEEP • United Nations Capital Development Fund