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> Posted by Virginia Moore, Communications Director, CFI

Last week, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) participated in LendIt USA, an annual conference that brings together leaders and startups in fintech, lending, and venture capital to discuss trends, innovations, and the future of the industry.

So, what were we doing there? We attended to help introduce what we do to this audience of over 5,000 people, partnering with LendIt organizers to launch its very first financial inclusion track. CFI managing director Elisabeth Rhyne spoke on a panel about responsible credit along with representatives from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Marketplace Lending Association, LendStreet, and AEO. Championing the Smart Campaign and consumer protections, Beth brought a global perspective on what responsible credit looks like in practice. She also debated the elephant in the room—or as she put it, “the dead cat on the table:” interest rates. Our director of research Sonja Kelly also moderated a lively session on how smartphones in emerging markets are expanding access to credit with executives from Branch, Cignifi, Juvo, and PayJoy. We’ll have more on these sessions soon.

It was exciting and satisfying to see so much interest in financial inclusion from conference attendees who may not readily know the definition of financial inclusion, appreciate its value, or recognize how they’re contributing to it.

What Is the Value of Financial Inclusion to Fintech and Investor Communities?

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> Posted by Center Staff

On Tuesday, in conjunction with the release of our second FI2020 Mapping the Invisible Market report, Growing Income, Growing Inclusion: How Rising Incomes at the Base of the Pyramid Will Shape Financial Inclusion, we hosted a live, interactive webcast with MasterCard. The webcast explored the relationship between rising incomes and financial inclusion, including the opportunity for inclusion presented by the emergence of the “vulnerable class.” The session also spotlighted the Mapping the Invisible Market interactive data tools (available here and here), as well as MasterCard’s work in supporting financial inclusion globally.

Hosted by MasterCard’s Nicole Ward, the webcast’s presenters were CFI’s Sonja Kelly and Elisabeth Rhyne, and MasterCard’s Tara Nathan. Here’s a few of the points that were made during the discussion.

  • Rising incomes, changing demographics, advances in technology, and government engagement are factors that are coming together to further financial inclusion
  • Global GDP has been growing for the past 30 years, with a projected increase from $61 trillion in 2010 to $85 trillion in 2020
  • From 2010 to 2020, the annual income of the bottom 40 percent in low and middle income economies is projected to double, from $3.1 trillion to $5.8 trillion
  • In many populous countries, the BOP will move into the vulnerable class in this decade
  • At the country level, there is a strong correlation between income and financial inclusion, both in account ownership and account use
  • There are many possible on-ramps to financial inclusion, including bill pay, G2P payments, no-frills accounts, and mobile money transfer
  • The transition from informal to formal financial services depends on many factors, including income level, income flow, employment formality, and social relationships
  • Incorporating the vast influx of new clients requires scaling up client protection and financial education
  • MasterCard is working with the government of Nigeria on a national ID program to provide a single proof of identity that also has the ability to deposit, receive, withdraw, and pay

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Credit Suisse is a founding sponsor of the Center for Financial Inclusion. The Credit Suisse Group Foundation looks to its philanthropic partners to foster research, innovation and constructive dialogue in order to spread best practices and develop new solutions for financial inclusion.

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The views and opinions expressed on this blog, except where otherwise noted, are those of the authors and guest bloggers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Financial Inclusion or its affiliates.