Financial Inclusion Week – Final Recap Post


This post is part of Financial Inclusion Week, a week of global conversation on advancing financial inclusion. This year’s theme was keeping clients first in a digital world. Throughout the week participants shared their thoughts in events and webinars, on social media, and through blog posts.

Well, that’s a wrap. Last week, the global financial inclusion community came together to explore the key actions needed to keep clients first in a digital world. Over 45 partner and contributing organizations in 19 countries drove the conversation through events, and on social media hundreds shared insights with the hashtag #FinclusionWeek.

While October 21st marked the official end of Financial Inclusion Week 2016, there are still a few Financial Inclusion Week events happening this week, including a webinar on G2P payments and an exploration of the challenges to women entrepreneurs in India. Stay tuned for event recap pages on each of the Week’s events as well as an electronic magazine highlighting the insights shared throughout the week. Additionally, visit the Financial Inclusion Week website for a full rundown of partners, events, and a social media feed.


We would like to thank all of the Financial Inclusion Week partners and contributors. You came together to make this Week a success, and we are all inspired by your commitment to advancing financial inclusion. For a full list of partners, visit the Financial Inclusion Week homepage. We hope that all who participated will continue to explore how to protect and empower clients in an increasingly digital financial ecosystem.

Here is a recap of day five. If you missed any of the other recap blog posts, you can find them all here on the CFI blog, as well as a number of thought pieces from Tilman Ehrbeck of Omidyar Network, Elisabeth Rhyne of CFI, and John Hartman of Equifax.

What’s Happening

Innovation for Poverty’s Action’s (IPA) webinar “Evidence Showcase: Using Digital Products to Overcome Behavioral Barriers” featured William Jack of Georgetown University’s Initiative on Innovation, Development and Evaluation and IPA’s Aaron Dibner Dunlap. The webinar looked at Jack’s study on the role of digital financial inclusion in boosting savings in Kenya as well as IPA’s continuing work on SMS nudges to build savings. The Georgetown RCT, conducted in three Kenyan counties in 2014 and 2015, aimed to answer whether bank accounts help parents save for their children’s transition to high school and specifically whether locked savings accounts help them to save even more. The study included Kenya’s popular M-Pesa and M-Shwari mobile money services.

(click to watch)

It found that parents who were assigned to the M-Shwari and lock-box account treatment groups had done much more to increase their total financial savings (using mobile and other non-financial savings measures) than those in the M-Pesa account only control group. The study also found that take-up of the M-Shwari and locked savings accounts by participating parents significantly increased the rates of their children’s high school enrollment than parents who only used the M-Pesa accounts. Dunlap highlighted their work on mobile phone messages, which has sought to overcome behavioral biases and barriers to savings. IPA’s field experiments with SMS campaigns have tested numerous message types (with content, personalization, timing, and duration variations), and they found that the right messages can help improve financial behavior and often work better than traditional financial education methods.

The HBS-Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance held an exclusive webinar for program alumni. The webinar focused on innovations in financial capability, drawing from CFI’s report A Change in Behavior. Elisabeth Rhyne, Managing Director of CFI, highlighted the importance of building financial capability among both new and old customers. Behavioral insights show that there is a gap between knowing and doing, and therefore providers and financial stakeholders should focus on encouraging positive behaviors rather than sharing information (as is common in more traditional financial education models). Technology presents great opportunities to build financial capability at lower costs, and to reach customers at key decision-making moments. Jayshree Venkatesan, one of the researchers of the report, joined the webinar to share insights from the Indian context. She was joined by Tim Liu of the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion at Renmin University of China who highlighted key trends in China, including a new program run by Alibaba. You can watch the webinar here.

Online Conversation

Fundacion Capital – A Digital (R)evolution

Fundacion Capital discusses the financial inclusion opportunities created by fintech, the importance of keeping clients at the center, and the ways in which the organization is harnessing fintech to keep clients at the center, including by using tablets to help familiarize clients with unfamiliar products and technologies.

UK Financial Inclusion Commission – Inclusive Growth without Financial Inclusion Is Impossible

Jennifer Duncan, Vice President Public Affairs and Policy UK&I at MasterCard, outlines the role of financial inclusion in inclusive economic growth, both in the developing and developed world. Duncan spotlights the essential role of governments and technology in advancing financial inclusion, and the gaps that persist in the U.K.

For more, including the week’s full event list and a curated #FinclusionWeek social media feed, visit the Financial Inclusion Week website.

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