Executive Director Reflections

September 2nd, 2018

The Missing Link: Effective Market Conduct for Financial Inclusion Technologies

I recall a conversation in the wake of the global financial crisis, at the end of 2008. We had just begun to disseminate the idea to create a global financial inclusion peer learning network among potential partners and stakeholders. At the time, a representative from a multilateral organization bluntly asked me: How can you promote financial inclusion at a point…

March 8th, 2018

Greater access to financial services for women is considered a key enabler for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment,  one of the 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The momentum for financial inclusion of women is indeed increasing and this topic is receiving a growing amount of attention in global debate on economic, social and development issues, led by the private sector, civil society, and development partners.

December 20th, 2017

FinTech: What’s in it for financial inclusion?

Emerging financial technology companies — FinTechs — are radically innovating the finance industry. Disruptive innovations such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain technology, biometric identification, cloud computing, and the use of big data are revolutionizing the collection and processing of financial information, the way we save and borrow, how we intermediate financial…

May 26th, 2017

Financial Stability and Financial Inclusion: Who Sets the “Standards”?

Nearly a decade after the 2008 global financial crisis, the world has seen a fundamental overhaul and tightening of financial regulations.  The enforcement of stricter rules on liquidity and capital for systemically important financial institutions, combined with comprehensive efforts to enhance the quality of bank supervision, are trends unlikely to be reversed, despite…

January 30th, 2017

Could isolationism reverse the gains of inclusiveness?

As we begin 2017 it is worth taking a moment to reflect on some of the larger geopolitical transformations which are influencing our activities, processes and perceptions on a global scale.

The importance of open financial systems in uncertain times cannot be understated and globally, financial, economic and social inclusion has made significant progress over the last few years.…

November 15th, 2016

After Paris: How can financial regulators play a role in combating climate change?  

Climate change is a global threat that has a negative impact on efforts to sustainably eradicate poverty. Poor countries are particularly vulnerable to this threat as their assets and livelihoods can easily be destroyed as a result of heat waves, floods, reduced rainfalls or droughts. The soaring food prices which often follow extreme weather events make it…

October 14th, 2016

The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) has always been recognized as a network made up of policymakers from ‘developing and emerging countries’, however we also recognize that financial inclusion is a global issue, one that can have an impact on people in every country. As our network has grown, there has been an increasing demand from policymakers and regulators from higher income countries in creating new knowledge bridges to the “…

September 20th, 2016

The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) 2016 Global Policy Forum (GPF) is now in the history books, but the impressions are still fresh. Many of us left the Pacific thinking that the 2016 GPF was one of the best Forums we ever had, particularly in terms of organization, content and exposure to the local culture. With an all-time high of more than 500 participants, the Forum also witnessed an expression of commitments to the ideals of the…

September 6th, 2016

When the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) began with a strong vision and a small but enthusiastic group of members, we knew that bringing financial services to the world’s unbanked would be an invaluable tool in the quest to reduce poverty—and we had real examples of great success. What we needed was to effectively communicate our ideas, to other potential members and to the international community. Today, over eight years later, the…