WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Financial Inclusion 2020 today announced the launch of the Roadmap to Financial Inclusion, a series of recommendations designed to expand access to quality financial services globally. The Roadmap focuses on five crucial areas: technology, meeting customer needs, credit reporting, financial capability and client protection. Through the Roadmap, FI2020 is convening diverse actors across the private and public sectors to unite around a common vision and series of action steps going forward.
A centerpiece of FI2020, the Roadmap builds on global, national and local initiatives that are already serving new and lower-income customers in innovative ways. FI2020's working groups brought together more than 40 leading organizations to build the Roadmap. The five working groups were chaired by representatives from Citi Foundation, CGAP, Visa Inc., the International Finance Corporation and the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion.
"The Roadmap emphasizes new concepts that are generating excitement but are not yet mainstream, like the power of behavioral economics to guide product design, capability building and client protection, or the use of data analytics in creating alternative credit reporting systems and targeting new market segments," said Elisabeth Rhyne, Managing Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion. "The recommendations in the Roadmap provide a way forward for the public and private sectors to expand business in a way that protects new customers."
Key Roadmap findings include:
- As demographic shifts, economic growth and innovative technology create a huge new market for financial services, especially in the developing world, focusing on accessibility, quality and protection is essential for those in the bottom 40 percent.
- Technology and new business models are lowering the cost of services, improving access in remote areas and extending the reach of financial education, while big data is empowering people to build and manage their credit histories through alternative methods.
- The biggest driver of the expansion of financial services is technology.
- Synergy between private enterprise and policy and protective regulation is needed to advance financial inclusion
"While reaching full financial inclusion remains a significant challenge, we are seeing a remarkable convergence of governments, civil society and the private sector all working to advance this effort," said Bill Gajda, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Visa and FI2020 Technology Working Group Chair. "In addition, innovative technologies such as mobile money are rapidly accelerating the pace of financial inclusion and removing a major obstacle in the fight against poverty."
In addition to the working group members, a wide range of experts in the public and private sectors reviewed the draft recommendations before they were finalized. FI2020 will now enlist the collective insight of a broader group of stakeholders to distill this thinking and help implement action at the FI2020 Global Forum in London on October 28-30, 2013.
The Forum is a one-time event that will promote a global agenda for bringing about the financial inclusion of more than 2 billion people around the world, using the year 2020 as a focal point, providing a unique opportunity to engage a broad range of players in financial inclusion through a collaborative environment.
"As impressive as the global financial system is, it has failed to reach more than 2 billion people who live in poverty and lack access to financial services," said Michael Schlein, president and CEO of Accion. "But today, we are witnessing significant demographic shifts, breakthrough technologies and a sweeping change in attitudes that are now making a financially inclusive world a real possibility. The FI2020 Roadmap outlines the path forward to make that vision a reality."
Financial Inclusion 2020 is managed by the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion in partnership with Citi, Visa Inc., MasterCard, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Western Union Foundation and MetLife Foundation.
To read the Roadmap and find out more about the Global Forum, visit www.financialinclusion2020.org.
Join members from each of the five Roadmap working groups along with the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion for a webinar to discuss the Roadmap findings on September 24 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Sign up for the webinar at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/390245257
To learn more about financial inclusion, watch CFI's new brief animated video at http://bit.ly/13z92ca
About the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion
The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) helps bring about the conditions to achieve full financial inclusion around the world. Constructing a financial inclusion sector that reaches everyone with quality services will require the combined efforts of many actors. CFI contributes to full inclusion by collaborating with sector participants to tackle challenges beyond the scope of any one actor, moving from thought leadership to action.
About Financial Inclusion 2020
Financial Inclusion 2020 (FI2020) is building a movement that mobilizes stakeholders worldwide to achieve quality financial inclusion, using the year 2020 as a focal point to galvanize action. FI2020 engages diverse players through two initiatives: the research project Mapping the Invisible Market and Building a Roadmap to Financial Inclusion with input from hundreds of private and public sector experts. A Global Forum in October 2013 will launch the effort to transform the findings into action. FI2020 is made possible through the generous support of Citi, Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and many other leading organizations. Learn more at www.financialinclusion2020.org
FI2020 is supported by:
Citi, Visa, Inc., MasterCard Worldwide, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Western Union Foundation, CGAP, Financial Times, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Omidyar Network, Multilateral Investment Fund/IDB, Deutsche Bank, Moody's Analytics, American Express, McGraw Hill Financial, CARE International - UK , Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Child and Youth Finance International, G3 ICT Initiative, LeapFrog Investment, Making Cents, Microcredit Summit Campaign, Microinsurance Network, SEEP, United Nations Capital Development Fund
SOURCE Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion