Financial technology and digital financial services are revolutionizing the way people access and use financial services, opening the way for banks, insurance companies, payment companies and other financial institutions to serve millions of underserved customers. Yet globally, there are still 2 billion people who are “unbanked,” and at least 1 billion more who have an account, but use it only rarely or not at all. Financial institutions face a variety of hurdles they must overcome to achieve the long-term business viability and sustainability needed to expand and deepen their reach within this vast customer segment.
Mainstreaming Financial Inclusion: Best Practices is an initiative to facilitate learning and action on how mainstream financial institutions around the world can reach underserved populations with quality financial services. The project is completed in partnership with the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), with support from MetLife Foundation. CFI and IIF will conduct in-depth research, lead workshops and knowledge exchanges with mainstream financial institutions, and disseminate research findings throughout the industry. The project will explore six topics that mainstream financial institutions identified as key challenges when serving customers at the base of the economic pyramid:
- Partnering with fintech startups
- Extending insurance coverage
- Building the financial capability of customers
- Utilizing data analytics
- Improving agent banking models
- Digitizing the customer journey