Financial inclusion for women and the transformative power of technology were among the key themes highlighted by the UNSGSA during an interview with the BBC World News on September 26. Queen Máxima spoke with the BBC’s Katty Kay about the importance of closing the gender gap in access to financial services, which remains at 9% in emerging economies.
Noting that obtaining credit allows a woman to “invest in her livelihood and increase her income,” and savings provides protection during hard times, she explained that the positive impact of financial inclusion extends to the woman’s entire family.
Innovative technology is a “game-changer in financial inclusion,” particularly among rural dwellers and the poor, who are also disproportionally excluded from the formal financial sector. Describing the shift brought about by digital payments, the UNSGSA told Kay that people who previously had to travel long distances with cash to make a payment are now able to do it from the safety of their homes, an advance that is particularly beneficial for women.
The segment also included an interview with Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, a member of the CEO Partnership for Financial Inclusion convened earlier this year by the UNSGSA. It includes CEOs of a wide range of companies who agreed to use their complementary assets, expertise, and collective commitment to meaningfully expand financial services for the 1.7 billion people who still have no access to basic tools as savings, insurance, payments or credit.