Advancing Financial Inclusion in a Digital Age
Summit Highlights and Synopsis
Financial inclusion has progressed remarkably throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Advances in technology, new products and services, creative public–private partnerships, innovative business models as well as deeper insights into client needs are all driving rapid transformation across Asia’s financial inclusion ecosystem. The link between financial inclusion and equitable growth has also been recognized and major global platforms, including the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, embraced the goal of broader access to financial services.
Yet, in spite of recent innovation and change, more than 1 billion people within the Asia-Pacific region still have no access to formal financial services. A lack of access and usage as well as the need for favourable regulatory frameworks continue to constrain the growth of thousands of micro, small and medium-sized businesses, impede women’s access to economic opportunity, and disadvantage vulnerable communities. Continued progress will rely on an ecosystem of financial-services providers, government, regulators, technology and communications services, and trusted intermediaries that can adapt and respond to changing client preferences and market needs. Together, all these players will need to find creative solutions to tackle big challenges and harness opportunities to close gaps and better enable financial inclusion in a digital age throughout the Asia Pacific.
The 2017 Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit brought together more than 450 thought leaders in the inclusive finance ecosystem to drive collective and positive change for greater financial inclusion across the region. Now in its second year, the Summit was hosted by the State Bank of Vietnam and organised by the Citi Foundation and FDC, in partnership with BWTP and the Economist Group. Themed ‘Advancing Financial Inclusion in a Digital Age’, the Summit explored the opportunities and challenges of the next generation of financial inclusion, and showcased the latest technology and innovations in financial products and services for the unbanked and underserved.