Seizing the Moment: On the Road to Financial Inclusion

Financial Inclusion 2020 Synthesis Report

Can the world achieve global financial inclusion by 2020? The many participants in Financial Inclusion 2020 have been asking this question through working groups, webinars, and research efforts throughout 2013 . By raising the question in structured ways and with multiple actors, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion aims to increase the momentum toward financial inclusion . Our hope is that by building a shared vision of the future of financial inclusion, developing a common roadmap guiding how to achieve it, and grounding the discussion in data on current trends, we will help spark decisions to prioritize financial inclusion among financial service providers, technology innovators, governments, and civil society.

In this report, we look at why financial inclusion matters and why we are confident it can be achieved in the foreseeable future. Through many conversations, we have learned that most of the solutions already exist. Innovative action is already happening, among organizations and companies large and small. We hope that the vision and way forward outlined here will help the actions of such stakeholders to build on each other to make financial inclusion a reality sooner than ever thought possible, and to enable financial inclusion to develop in a way that benefits the millions – or billions – of new clients.

This report is organized into three chapters. Chapter 1 summarizes the case for financial inclusion in this decade: what financial inclusion is, why it matters, and why we believe it is increasingly possible. The chapter details how financial inclusion contributes to well-being for customers, countries, and providers. It also grounds the discussion in data about the current state of financial inclusion. Based on the research from Mapping the Invisible Market, it outlines the growing markets for financial services brought on by changing global demography and income growth. It highlights how technology innovations and policy initiatives are advancing inclusion. Chapter 2 summarizes the five roadmaps to inclusion, recording the investigative journeys that took place in each of the five FI2020 working groups, and spotlighting the most important messages group members wanted to communicate to the global financial inclusion community. It also incorporates reflections on several special populations segments, drawn from FI2020’s consultations with representatives of these groups. Chapter 3 calls providers, policymakers, and support organizations to action, based on the principles and recommendations emerging from the five working group consultations. Those who like to cut straight to the bottom line may turn directly to Chapter 3.

 

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