Multilateral Investment Fund launched a report on what has been learned from a recent impact evaluation on savings groups in Latin America, as well as host a webinar to share these findings and learnings on how savings groups can be linked to financial intermediaries.

What are the three biggest gaps to achieving financial inclusion in your context in the next five years?

Our experience shows that three of the most important gaps to achieving financial inclusion in the Latin America and Caribbean region over the next five years are (1) slow improvements in people’s financial capabilities, (2) a lack of investments in banking and ICT infrastructures; and (3) a lack of innovation in product development and service improvement.  

What is one concrete action that people at your event can take to further financial inclusion?

Savings groups are an informal mechanism to provide financial services for poor people. They can be the first step to familiarize low-income people with financial products. However, in order to achieve financial inclusion through savings groups, there should be alliances with formal institutions willing to take the groups to the next level. These institutions should adapt their products and services to the needs and characteristics of this population. The products to be offered should combine convenience for the client with efficiency for the financial institution.

Quotes from the discussion:

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Financial inclusion means everyone has a good choice of financial products and services that can help them live better now, tomorrow or in 15 years. We must make it possible.

- Fermín Vivanco, Senior Specialist, Access to Finance Unit, Multilateral Investment Fund, IDB Group

 

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As we move forward in expanding the access to financial services and setting new goals, we should not lose sight of our goal of empowering and improving the living conditions of vulnerable populations. Understanding people´s needs, developing innovative low-costs business models and ensuring consumer protection, are key ingredients to achieve this purpose.

- María Luisa Hayem, Specialist, Access to Finance Unit, Multilateral Investment Fund, IDB Group

 

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Efforts to build and improve the financial capabilities of low-income consumers need to take a special place in financial inclusion strategies worldwide. In this regard, it is particularly important to ensure that financial capability initiatives are sustainable and have the potential to reach scale. Greater collaborative efforts between governments and private sector institutions are needed to achieve these goals.

- Lukas Keller, Fellow, Multilateral Investment Fund, IDB Group