UNSGSA Releases 2018 Annual Report
Tracking progress, identifying opportunities, and tackling roadblocks to financial inclusion
From innovative technology to increased engagement by the private sector, several exciting trends are propelling the world’s impressive gains in financial access, according to the newly released annual report from the UNSGSA. The report also details the many ways in which financial inclusion is driving progress on the development goals.
Despite this progress, however, gaps remain—most notably among women and the poor—and account usage lags behind access. The report details the UNSGSA’s ongoing efforts to address these issues through three key areas of work: ensuring usage and development impact, reaching neglected populations, and creating the right environment for technology-enabled financial inclusion.
Putting the New Global Findex Into Context
The new Global Findex database reveals a significant rise in access to financial services around the world. More than half a billion adults have opened a formal account since 2014, adding significantly to the momentum of financial inclusion and pushing the number of adults with accounts to 69 percent.
India Stack Meets Mumbai’s Dabbawalas
Hailed for helping millions in India open digital financial accounts, the India Stack is transforming a traditionally low-tech occupation: delivering home-cooked lunches to businesspeople. For Vilash, one of Mumbai’s dabbawala deliverymen, getting paid is now easier and safer thanks to an app that enables digital transfers, built using the Stack’s open interface.
Speech: Regulating Innovation to Promote Financial Inclusion
In her opening remarks at a roundtable on fintech and financial inclusion in Amsterdam, the UNSGSA urged regulators, fintech innovators, leaders from standard-setting bodies, and development partners to work together to develop new regulatory approaches for financial innovation that address risks while accelerating progress toward financial inclusion.
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
Thirty-one percent of the world’s adults—1.7 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