Each year since 2013 the Foundation has convened hundreds of industry professionals to focus on barriers to greater financial inclusion around the world. This year we reflect on progress made over the past five years, explore challenges that still lie ahead, and plan how to expand and deepen financial inclusion for the world’s most underserved people.
The activities on Day 2 of #SoFI2016, the Symposium on Financial Inclusion, also trended in the 4th place slot on Twitter, and highlights include the awarding of the Clients at the Centre Prize and the SoFI debate on financial inclusion and client centredness. Our Storify board summarizes the main points of debate.
Innovation is happening among financial service providers in developing countries. Its most public face is a greater focus on satisfying clients, which is enabling poor and marginalized people to acquire the tools they need to move out of poverty.
At The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, the first plenary session discussed how leadership and the organizational culture at financial service providers are critical to ensure true client-centric practices. CNBC Africa’s news anchor, Gugulethu Cele, moderated the discussion with Doug Baillie, Chief Human Resources Officer of Unilever, Lelemba Phiri, Group Head of Talent and Managing Director for Zambia and Malawi at Zoona Group, and Ramesh Ramanathan, Chairman and Founder of Janalakshmi Financial Services.
Financial inclusion for all by 2020 can only be achieved if financial service organizations do more to focus on the needs and expectations of the two billion people in the world currently excluded from the formal financial system. At the recent MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, held in Cape Town from November 19-20, speakers reinforced the idea that client centricity is key to inclusive access to finance.
“If you deliver a customer experience that is unique it will pay off.”
MetLife’s Chief Customer Officer, Claire Burns, opened day two of the Symposium by detailing her organization’s journey to client centricity. Claire became a customer of MetLife to experience the customer journey for herself. What she found was system that wasn’t working. So, she said, she set out to “humanize insurance”. MetLife built a customer-centric business model by listening to customers, repairing what they told the organization was broken and delivering simplified experiences to create market differentiation.
At the third annual MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, held in partnership with the Boulder Institute of Microfinance, CNBC Africa interviewed delegates about how to improve access to financial services in Africa.
Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, spoke about the work being done by the Foundation and the importance of understanding the needs of people living in poverty and improving their access to financial services.
Worldwide, two billion adults do not have an account at a financial institution, according to the World Bank’s Global Findex report. Only 41 percent of adults in developing economies have an account—and that number drops to just over 20 percent among adults living in extreme poverty. Women, in particular, are largely excluded from the formal financial system. In less-developed countries, only 37 percent of women have accounts, compared to 46 percent of men.