The Business of Financial Inclusion: Insights from banks in emerging markets

Institute of International Finance (IIF) and Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI)

Major progress in technologies is helping banks to design increasingly more viable business models to serve unbanked sections of the population. On this issue, the  Institute of International Finance (IIF) and the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) interviewed executives at 24 banks operating in emerging markets (mainly commercial, public, credit cooperatives and private banks) to learn about their strategies for driving forward financial inclusion using technology, alliances and banking agencies, among others. They also addressed the challenges and opportunities they are facing in the areas of corporate responsibility, regulation, financial literacy and customer protection.

The report summarises the findings of this survey and analyses the role played by banks to encourage financial inclusion in an increasingly digital world. It ends with some recommendations to guide banks in promoting financial inclusion, eg:

  • Exchanging good practice: information, models, KYC -Know Your Customer- policies, partnerships with Fintech companies, data analysis, among others.
  • Cooperation between banks and national government bodies, incentivising digital payments and inclusive banking (financing for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), subsidies, etc), building technology infrastructures, implementing pro-inclusion policies, coordination and support among all government bodies (regulators, insurers, governments, etc) and greater commitment to customers.