Future of Financial Inclusion After COVID-19 and Other Topics

COVID-19 has upended life around the world and threatens to reverse decades of progress by pushing as many as 100 million people into extreme poverty. The stakes are high and the future is uncertain.

Policymakers and providers have acted fast. Yet with so much uncertainty still ahead, what’s next? The final day of Financial Inclusion Week included sessions that look at the next stages of managing and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that the needs of low-income people are central to the decisions made by policymakers, donors, investors, researchers, and others working to advance inclusive finance.

This page also includes content on topics other than the five themes of Financial Inclusion Week 2020.


WEBINAR: Past, Present, Future: What Previous Crises Can Teach Us About the Road Ahead

This webinar featured lessons from a series of case studies jointly published by CFI and e-MFP.  These case studies examine the experience of MFIs following previous crises, and steps taken by investors, board members, and leadership to set them on the path to recovery and future success. This webinar will provide lessons and recommendations for stakeholders navigating their way through the current pandemic, to similarly steer organizations toward future success as they emerge from the crisis. Read the summary of the cases here.

Alaa Sisalem, General Manager, Vitas Palestine
Daniel Rozas, Senior Microfinance Expert, e-MFP
Deborah Drake, Vice President, Center for Financial Inclusion
Narasimhan Srinivasan, Development Finance expert, author, researcher


When you hide bad news, it will come back and get you. The microfinance institutions that failed (after the financial crisis of 2008-09) tried to present a better picture than was the case."
Daniel Rozas, Senior Microfinance Expert, e-MFP

WEBINAR: COVID-19 and Migrant Remittances

As part of the Inclusive Finance India Webinar Series, ACCESS ASSIST in partnership with LEAD at KREA University, is organizing the webinar on “COVID-19 and Migrant Remittances: Emerging Trends and Strategies to Build Resilience ” on October 14, 2020 between 4.00 and 5.30 PM IST.

Nationwide lockdown has resulted in complete disruption of economic activities and fall of aggregate demand. It has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable section of the society – informal workers, blue-collar migrants in the informal sector who account for more than 80% of non-agricultural employment. Loss of livelihoods, income irregularity and uncertainty and falling wages, has led to increase in financial stress, burden and insecurity of migrants. It has resulted in large scale reverse migration negatively affecting the scale and flow of domestic remittances in India. The pandemic has vividly pronounced the glaring need for building and strengthening the financial resilience of the migrants. While there has been multiple discourse on structuring a more meaningful and flexible financial system suitable for catering to the needs of migrants, not many have taken into consideration on identifying data backed current trends and insights. It will be extremely critical to understand how the segment has responded and coped with the crisis and offer appropriate avenues for them to remain resilient. A clear articulation on strategies to improve and build migrant’s resilience basis data led evidence is much needed.

In this context, the objective of the webinar is to propose pointed prescriptions and options for building resilience of migrants. The discussion will contribute to improve the collective understanding of the current financial situation of migrants and their families. It will discuss strategies to better capture this data, identify & understand emerging trends in remittances, and explore opportunities to improve the design of financial products that target the migrant population. The “new normal” is probably a transitory phase to a future that cannot be predicted looking at pre-COVID information and hence understanding current trends and trajectories is a vital policy input to designing financial systems for economic well-being of informal sector.

Fabrizio Valenti Head – Financial Inclusion, LEAD at Krea University
Sona Mitra Principal Economist, IWWAGE – an initiative of LEAD at Krea University
Sucharita Mukherjee Co-founder, Kaleidofin
V Easwaran MD & CEO (Interim) and COO, India Post Payments Bank
Varun Aggarwal Founder, India Migration Now


WEBINAR: Coping with COVID-19: Recent Evidence from Inclusive Fintech Startups and Their Users

Though the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to evolve, recent evidence suggests inclusive fintech startups are adapting via new channels and cash-saving measures while meeting users’ changing needs. Unfortunately, this data also indicates that users may not be faring as well since incomes have fallen significantly and savings levels are low. This webinar explores recent data on the impacts of the global pandemic on fintechs and fintech users, and how startups, investors, and ecosystem actors can help both overcome related challenges.

“Fintech users in emerging markets are seeing decreasing incomes. Spending on essential goods is going up. This is creating financial pressure on households.” -Malika Anand

Andrew Mutua, Founder/CEO, PesaKit
Malika Anand, Head of Learning and Insights, Catalyst Fund, BFA Global
Meghan McCormick, Co-founder/CEO, OZE
Sitara Merchant, CEO, Swiss Capacity Building Facility
Maha Khan, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, Center for Financial Inclusion


WEBINAR: The Road to 2030: an Action Agenda for Inclusive Financial Systems

Global experts come together to reflect on Financial Inclusion Week’s daily participant poll responses and discuss what’s next to build inclusive financial systems globally over the next decade.

Ida Rademacher Vice President, Aspen Institute
Klaus Prochaska Head, Financial Sector Development , Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Mackenzie Wallace Senior Policy Advisor, Aspen Institute
Maha Bahou CEO, Jordan Payments & Clearing Company (JoPACC)
Robert Annibale Senior Fellow, University of London/SOAS
Salah Goss Senior Vice President, Global Markets, Humanitarian & Development, Mastercard


WEBINAR: Saving the Next Billion from Old Age Poverty

This webinar will examine the importance of digital micro-pension solutions and “pensiontech” in achieving mass-scale voluntary pension inclusion especially for women. The panel will discuss their experience and outlook with creating a national-level micro-pension program using technology and existing digital financial inclusion infrastructure. The session will also examine key demand-side issues related to behavioral finance, retirement literacy and financial capability amongst women and youth.

Eric Rwigamba, Director General, Financial Sector Development, Ministry of Finance
Parul Seth Khanna, Co-Founder and Director, PinBox Solutions Pte Ltd
Shameran Abed, Senior Director, BRAC
Sriraman Jagannathan, Country Head – India, Women’s World Banking
Sundeep Raichura, Group CEO, Zamara
William Price, CEO, D3P Global Pension Consulting
Yumiko Murakami, Head of Tokyo Centre, OECD


WEBINAR: How Bank De-risking Policies Create Financial Exclusion in Developing Countries

Many developed countries’ banks introduced de-risking policies that stop remittance companies send money to many countries in Africa. This has caused a major problem for African diaspora in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and is a discriminatory policy that targets only small remittance companies (although they are licensed and regulated by government authorities), but not Western Union and other major remittance companies. This webinar provides information about this and how it creates financial exclusion in developing countries.

Hamid Adan Daryeel Bank
Mohamed Ibrahim Director, Yeel Pacific


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