Elisabeth Rhyne, Managing Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion, discusses the background to the FI 2020 Global Forum. She details how and why 300 representatives from across the world – representing public, private and non-profit sectors – are coming together at the Lancaster London Hotel from October 28-30th to map out how full financial inclusion can be achieved by 2020.

Beth_Rhyne

Recent History
We started a couple of years ago with the question “could financial inclusion be achieved around the world by 2020?”. We did that to get people to think ahead, to look into the future instead of focusing on their problems today.

In preparation, we did two things. First we undertook some demographic research called ‘Mapping the Invisible Market’.

The bigger project was a series of working groups on each of the critical topics for Financial Inclusion. These working groups’ focus areas were defined by a survey we undertook to understand the opportunities and obstacles to financial inclusion.

The working groups had representatives from 40 organizations and have produced five roadmaps to financial inclusion – work that has subsequently been vetted by another 200 people. Our five Roadmaps to Inclusion are:

1. Technology Enabled Business Models
2. Consumer protection
3. Addressing Customer Needs
4. Financial Capability
5. Credit reporting

The FI2020 Forum: Creating a community of action
The people at the Forum are hand-picked to represent the different stakeholders in the industry. Indeed, one of the things that makes this meeting unique is that we have a broader array of people than ever before. We have people from major corporate and regional banks, microfinance institutions, telecoms companies, policy makers, regulators, investors and supporting organizations.

By bringing these diverse groups of people together, the Forum is creating a community – a community that has a commitment to action.

The Roadmaps have ten key action principles which are underpinned by a host of more detailed points. The work of this Forum is to put more action steps around those action principles – being specific about who needs to do what.

My hopes for the Forum
I hope that people come away from this forum with a much deeper vision of what financial inclusion is and what it entails.

I hope to see people getting excited about what actions need to be taken – identifying new opportunities and making commitments to take them. I also hope that people begin to see financial inclusion from the perspective of a client – of financial services making a real difference in their lives in both the short and long-term. A lot of times, financial inclusion is seen as ‘banking the unbanked’ – I hope people come away with a much deeper vision of what Financial Inclusion is and what is required to make it happen.

To see what others are saying and posting about the Global Forum, visit the Financial Inclusion 2020 website and follow #FI2020 on Twitter.