Could financial citizenship start at birth? If it did, would that make a difference in children’s lives?
Featured on the Economist, CNN, Forbes, Fast Company, Smart Money, HBO, and beyond, Financial Access at Birth (FAB) proposes that one approach to financial inclusion is to open a $100 savings account at birth, linked to a unique, universal ID, and accessible via mobile and electronic branchless banking. Once the account is created and financial identity secured, the child would have a growing asset on which to build. Moreover, other social service providers would have the opportunity to employ this delivery channel for dissemination of information, health, education, and emergency aid. This could include vaccines, tuition grants, or cash transfers for food and shelter.
The Center for Financial Inclusion hosted FAB from 2010 to 2013. While housed at CFI, FAB deepened its model, developed linkages with innovative researchers and practitioners, and conducted outreach and research in preparation for pilot. Moving forward, CFI will continue to serve as a mouthpiece to disseminate FAB’s findings throughout the industry.
For more information about FAB, please visit its website.
While hosting FAB, the Center helped:
- Develop the Model: define objectives and key elements and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
- Design Operations and Delivery Channels: spot best practices and successful implementation methods
- Earn License to Operate: help earn buy-in and recruit partners for implementation
- Manage Risk: anticipate potential negative spillovers and disruptions through consultation
- Share the Vision and Knowledge: coordinate volunteer support and disseminate findings
The founder of FAB, Bhagwan Chowdhry, is a Professor of Finance at UCLA Anderson School of Management and serves on the Center’s Faculty Council. FAB also benefits from the support and expertise of a number of leaders in finance, innovators in poverty alleviation, social entrepreneurs, and student researchers. The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion served as host of the FAB concept from 2010 to 2013.