Financial Inclusion: Transforming Lives
The 2017 UNSGSA Report
Financial inclusion is now firmly established as a powerful tool to improve lives and strengthen development. Great progress has been made. But with the Sustainable Development Goals on the horizon and inequality on the rise globally, the stakes are higher than ever.
The 2017 UNSGSA Report presents three priorities for action that could accelerate financial inclusion: promoting supportive policies for digital financial inclusion, ensuring development impact, and reaching neglected populations such as farmers, women, and small businesspeople.Read more
In Mexico, A Convenience Store Makes Finance Easy
For millions in Mexico, OXXO markets are a one-stop shop for snacks, cell-phone top-ups—and now, banking. Through its popular Saldazo account, the convenience store chain is pioneering a new model for low-income customers. With the touch of a button or a quick visit to the corner store, they can save money, make purchases, pay bills, or send funds.Read more
Inclusive Technology for an Inclusive Future
At the Singapore Fintech Festival, the Special Advocate spoke to fintech innovators from around the world about the responsibility—and opportunity—to help extend financial services to 2 billion excluded people. She also urged them to address risks such as data privacy and fraud and to build the right infrastructure to allow fintech to foster financial inclusion.Read more
Nigeria's Economic Future Is in Its Hands
"In a rural community outside Kanuda, a women is starting her day. Her business is selling produce. Of all the tools she uses, the most important is one that fits in her pocket: her mobile phone." In a column published in major Nigerian papers, the Special Advocate looked closely at the promise of mobile money for financial inclusion in Nigeria.Read more
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).
As Special Advocate, Queen Máxima champions universal access to affordable, effective, and safe financial services for the poor. Collaborating closely with global and national partners, she raises awareness, encourages leadership, works to break down barriers, and supports action to expand financial inclusion. Queen Máxima is also honorary patron of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion and serves as a Global Agenda Trustee for the World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge Initiative on the Future of the Global Financial System. In the Netherlands, she is a member of the Committee for Entrepreneurship and Finance and honorary chair of the Dutch Money Wise Platform.Read more
Forty percent of the world’s adults—two billion people—struggle to get by without the basic financial services they need to protect themselves against hardship and invest in their futures.
Financial inclusion seeks to unlock development opportunity and improve the lives of all, especially the poor, by expanding access to catalytic financial tools.
Affordable, effective, and safe financial services—savings, insurance, payments, credit, and more—can play a transformative role by fostering equitable growth and furthering vital development goals such as poverty reduction, job creation, gender equality, and food security.
Financial inclusion can support families when they confront unexpected setbacks and help them work their way out of poverty. It can permit small entrepreneurs to invest in their businesses and create jobs. And it can allow societies and economies to grow stronger and more inclusive.
Financial inclusion cannot end poverty and inequality on its own, but it can contribute significantly to building better lives and more resilient communities. By opening a path to empowerment and opportunity for all, an inclusive financial system is essential infrastructure for every country.Read more