World Bank - CEGA Workshop: Advancing the Research Agenda for Financial Inclusion
June 28, 2016Washington, D.C.

Two billion individuals around the world remain “unbanked,” without access to financial services, and in emerging markets, bank accounts and electronic payment systems are often under-utilized among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A growing body of evidence suggests that improving access to secure money transfer services, credit, and savings among poor households and merchants can lead to increased investments in durable assets and income-generating activities. Yet understanding the precise determinants and impacts of financial inclusion is complex, especially in low-income settings.

Highlights from the panels:

1.       Financial Inclusion: Where We Are, Why it Matters

In the opening panel titled “Where We Are, Why It Matters”, Rebecca Mann (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) made a strong case for the role of governments to expand financial inclusion: markets and commercial attempts alone are not sufficient to reach the poor, which requires changing the underlying economics of transacting with low-income people. Government to people payments, in particular, may be a valuable tool to reach out to the underserved. Kay McGowan (USAID) emphasized the notion that financial inclusion should be a “mean to an end” and shedding light on its impacts in terms of smoothing income, enabling access to services and providing a path to asset-building and productive investments is key.


2.       Mobile & Global: Making Payment Systems Work Better

The panel “Mobile & Global: Making Payment Systems Work Better” discussed the impacts of “Mobile Money.” In Kenya, Billy Jack (Georgetown University) found that person-to-person (P2P) payment networks increase consumption and smooth the impact of health-related shocks. Tarek Ghani (Washington University) discussed how government to people (G2P) mobile payments have been linked to greater usage and expansion of mobile money networks, and to increased savings in Afghanistan. Relatively small design changes can make a major difference in how people relate to the financial system, noted Simone Schaner (Dartmouth College), who pointed out that inclusion programs in particular have strengthened women’s economic agency in India. A key action item, according to Schaner, is the need for financial education, on the basics of how to use an account, especially among poor rural women.


3.        Promoting Savings Among the Poor

The panel “Promoting Savings Among the Poor” highlighted that electronic government payments, trust, social networks, and types of banking agents can shape savings behaviors. Paul Gertler (UC Berkeley) documented that the introduction of electronic government payments in Mexico led to an increase in personal savings linked to improved trust in financial institutions—which tends to be especially low among the poor and may explain why they tend not to save formally. Summarizing research in Indian villages, Arun Chandrasekhar (Stanford University) explored the importance of social reputation in overcoming behavioral frictions and encouraging savings. In particular, monitoring can spur people to save more, especially when performed by actors central to one’s social network. Xavier Gine (World Bank) presented new evidence from Senegal on saving and account activity, comparing people who open an account with a banking agent to those who open an account at a traditional bank. Banking through agents increases the number of deposits and withdrawals. Douglas Pearce (World Bank) noted that, overall, people save more than one might expect, but they save in formal financial institutions somewhat less than we expect.


Lunch Speaker: Leora Klapper (World Bank), “Measuring Financial Inclusion”

4.       Ensuring Access, Insuring Stability

A discussion of “Ensuring Access, Insuring Stability” argued for stronger social protections for those who are now excluded. Craig McIntosh (UC San Diego) discussed the risks faced in the agricultural sector and outlined how to use protective tools to ease shocks to family farms, which, he noted, are the most numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the developing world. Technology, such as satellite images and drones, can help give consumers the kinds of products they truly need, instead of the higher-priced, higher-profit-margin products that companies want to sell them. Shawn Cole (Harvard Business School) reported on the results of a study of the market for life insurance in India, where there are 105 million insurance customers; 20% of total household savings. His findings make a strong case for consumer protection: 60-80% of agents recommend unsuitable products that provide high commissions to the agents. Disclosure standards, market competition, and educated customers improve agents’ behavior.


5.       Helping the Poor Gain Access to Credit

The panel “Helping the Poor Gain Access to Credit” highlighted how access to credit per se is not sufficient to move the needle on key economic outcomes. Aprajit Mahajan (UC Berkeley) documented that expanding access to credit via store credit cards to new borrowers led to large sustained defaults and high delinquency rates in Mexico. Cynthia Kinnan (Northwestern University) stressed the importance of heterogeneity in the types of entrepreneurs accessing credit and discussed its implications for lenders in their decision to allocate credit and for policymakers when designing programs to promote credit and their cost-benefit calculations. Against this backdrop, developing ways to mitigate bad financial decisions are essential. Bilal Zia (World Bank) spoke of one potential channel to affect these decisions: financial education. In particular, he presented evidence that entertainment media (soap operas) can be used to deliver information, improve financial literacy, and ultimately reduce burdensome debt in South Africa.


6.       Delivering Financial Services to the Poor

The last panel of the day discussed key issues for “Delivering Financial Services to the Poor.” Digitization and other technologies can help bring services to excluded segments of the population, and improve transparency and create greater trust in the financial system. Traditional credit scoring methods may represent barriers and often do not work for the poor in emerging markets, who lack ways of establishing their creditworthiness, argued Shivani Siroya (InVenture). Big data from mobile, transactions, social network information and from mobile credit tools make it possible to build financial identities for those outside the financial system who otherwise would have none. In a rapidly changing payments landscape, noted Mark Pickens (VISA), providers must work with governments, non-banks, and mobile-money pioneers to achieve greater impact and that the private sector should avoid splintering consumers among many platforms. The importance of interoperability was similarly highlighted by Jose Sanin (GSMA), who also stressed that to build trust among stakeholders, the industry will need to establish and follow a “code of conduct” that promotes best practices and protects consumers, especially the most vulnerable ones. Carlos Cornejos (MasterCard) noted that the next generation concern for the inclusion agenda is not limited to account ownership but that account usage is needed to ensure the growth of a broader payments ecosystem that carries benefits beyond the inclusion goals.

8:30 – 9:00 am     


9:00 – 9:40 am              

Opening Panel

Where We Are, Why It Matters, What's next to achieve Universal Finance 


Rebecca Mann (Gates Foundation)
Kay McGowan (USAID)
Ceyla Pazarbasioglu (World Bank)

ChairWilliam Maloney, Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance & Institutions Practice Group, World Bank)

This introductory session will offer an overview of the state of financial inclusion, and of the bottle necks and knowledge gaps that are relevant for economic development. The speakers will highlight the role that digital technologies can play in promoting financial inclusion and economic growth, and offer insights on the implications of the rapid expansion of digital products on consumer protection. The panel will also note how rigorous research, such as the use of impact evaluation and data analytics, can help inform these issues and reach the 2020 Universal Financial Access Goal. 

9:40 – 11:00 am             

Mobile & Global: Making Payment Systems Work Better

Billy Jack (Georgetown)
Tarek Ghani (Princeton)
Simone Schaner (Dartmouth)

World Bank Discussant: Maria Teresa Chimienti

This session will highlight the challenges associated with making payments in lowincome settings (including remittances, commercial transactions, and governmentto-person payments), and summarize what we know and don’t know about various solutions (including basic transactions accounts and mobile money). Panelists will discuss how digital payments could be made more attractive to poor households and cash transfer recipients; key factors associated with network penetration, trust, access, and integration with other financial tools; the potential of digital payments to “onramp” low-income households and merchants to other formal financial products and services; and the role of institutions in promoting the use of digital payments.

11:00 – 11:20 am           

Coffee break

11:20 am – 12:30 pm     

Promoting Savings Among The Poor

Paul Gertler (University of California Berkeley)
Arun Chandrasekhar (Stanford) 
Xavi Gine (World Bank)

World Bank DiscussantDouglas Pearce

This panel will present recent evidence on the use of digital savings accounts in emerging markets, and highlight gaps in data and knowledge in this space. Panelists will discuss what is known about savings among low-income households, as well as the barriers to savings, and the potential of digital savings platforms (including mobile banking and mobile money) and behavioral interventions (including nudges, commitment devices, and reminders) to promote savings behavior and financial inclusion. The discussion will examine the business case for small savers, as poor customers tend to want low-cost accounts designed for small transactions, which tend to be unprofitable for banks. It will further emphasize the importance of digital data streams in understanding savings behavior and designing appropriate savings products.

12:50 – 1:30 pm           


Lunch SpeakerLeora Klapper (World Bank),  “Measuring Financial Inclusion”

1:30 – 2:50 pm            

Ensuring Access, Insuring Stability: Promoting Protection from Risk

Shawn Cole (Harvard Business School)
Craig McIntosh (University of California San Diego)
Jishnu Das (World Bank)

World Bank DiscussantFiona Stewart

This panel will explore the challenges households and small firms face in terms of protecting themselves against risk, and will attempt to explain why the adoption of micro-insurance products has been so low. Panelists will present evidence and insights into factors affecting the viability, adoption, and impacts of micro-insurance (e.g. price, social networks, trust, and access to information). They will further suggest ways in which innovations in insurance products or marketing/implementation strategies might address some of the existing barriers.

2:50 – 4:10 pm             

Helping the Poor Gain Access to Credit  

Aprajit Mahajan (University of California Berkeley)
Cynthia Kinnan (Northwestern)
Bilal Zia (World Bank)

World Bank DiscussantJennifer Chien

This panel will examine the challenges and potential solutions to borrowing in emerging markets, including a lack of credit histories for those without a formal account. Panelists will present recent evidence on the effectiveness of various approaches, including microfinance and novel credit risk assessment tools, while highlighting critical gaps in data and knowledge. The panel will further address how to optimize the design of credit products, how to combine credit with other interventions (including behavioral strategies and tools), and how to mitigate the risk of over-indebtedness.

4:10 – 5:10 pm             

Delivering Financial Services to the Poor

Mark Pickens (VISA)
Carlos Cornejo (Mastercard)
Shivani Siroya (Inventure)
Jose Sanin (Groupe Speciale Mobile (GSM) Association)

Moderator: Marcos Brujis, (International Finance Corporation)

This panel is an opportunity to discuss ways and opportunities to change the status quo and address constraints in the current financial system to provide financial services to the unbanked. The session will focus on how the different new actors of today's financial ecosystem can promote greater financial access and enhance financial inclusion among the poor.

5:10 – 5:40 pm     

Closing Remarks

Paul Gertler (University of California Berkeley) & William Maloney (World Bank)

This 1.5 day workshop, hosted by the Office of the Chief Economist for the World Bank's Equitable Growth, Finance & Institutions Practice Group and the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), brought together researchers and public and private sector practitioners to assess what we already know, identify critical gaps in knowledge, and seek out shared research priorities for the future.

The event served as a forum for World Bank staff and researchers from CEGA to assess what we already know about the drivers and impacts of financial inclusion, while identifying critical gaps in knowledge and shared research priorities moving forward.

The first day of the workshop included four panels centered on the following thematic areas consistent with the Financial Access Initiative framework: payments;  savings; credit; and insurance.

During each panel, external and World Bank researchers presented relevant work and highlighted outstanding research questions. Bank operations staff shared current (and planned) projects in each area, noting areas of overlap and pointing out remaining gaps in knowledge. A second, half-day session for select CEGA and Bank leadership provided an opportunity to design a shared research agenda, identify promising opportunities for collaboration, and agreed upon immediate next steps.

About the Hosts

The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is a network of nearly 70 academic researchers headquartered at UC Berkeley, which combines expertise in data science with rigorous impact evaluation to address financial exclusion and other challenges associated with global poverty. CEGA brings a diverse network of public and private sector partners—including Visa, BRAC Bank (Bangladesh), Roshan (Afghanistan), the State Bank of India, Premise Data, and Segovia/Give Directly—to future collaborations with the Bank. In addition to expertise in randomized and quasi-experimental field trials, CEGA is gaining experience in the data analytics space, leveraging machine learning and other tools from computer science to better understand poverty, financial behavior, and credit risk among low-income households and firms. 

The World Bank Group has extensive initiatives designed to address financial inclusion, including those organized by the Finance & Markets Global Practice, the IFC’s Financial Institutions GroupConsultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP),Development Impact Evaluation (DIME), Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF), and Regional work. The workshop will help to identify and synchronize shared efforts, while increasing the efficiency of common resources. During the workshop, Bank operations staff will discuss the relevance of emerging insights from academic researchers, as well as priorities

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    Marcos Brujis

    Global Industry Director, Financial Institutions Group, IFC
    Mr. Marcos Brujis is Global Industry Director, Financial Institutions Group, as of October 1st, 2014. In this role, Mr. Brujis oversees IFC’s strategy, investments and portfolio of all IFC’s operations in financial markets around the world. IFC’s investments in the financial sector represent about 40 percent of IFC’s global operations and the objective of IFC in this sector is to promote access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises. Before joining IFC, Mr. Brujis was the Executive Director of Corporate and Institutional Banking at HSBC Argentina. In 1994, he was appointed Vice Chairman of the Board of The Argentina Private Development Trust (APDT). Mr. Brujis was a Board member, Founder and key fundraiser of the Peru Privatization Fund (PPF), a $200 million fund originated in 1995 in which IFC participated. Mr. Brujis holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from McGill University, Canada.
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    Arun G. Chandrasekhar

    Assistant professor at the economics department at Stanford University
    Arun G. Chandrasekhar is a development economist and econometrician interested in the role that social networks play in developing countries. His research focuses on social learning and informal insurance, as well as the associated econometric problems that arise when studying network data. He received his PhD from MIT in May 2012 and was a post-doctorate at Microsoft Research New England. Currently, Chandrasekhar is an Assistant Professor at Stanford’s department of economics.
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    Jennifer Chien

    Senior Financial Sector Specialist, Finance & Markets, World Bank
    Jennifer Chien is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist and part of the Responsible Financial Access team in the Finance & Markets Global Practice at the World Bank. She is an experienced lawyer with expertise in policy and regulatory environments for microfinance and financial inclusion, consumer protection regulation and supervision, and agribusiness enabling environment. She previously worked as an independent consultant for the World Bank, USAID, and other clients in financial inclusion and consumer protection. Prior to this, Ms. Chien worked at CGAP as the manager of the Financial Inclusion Regulation Center and in the private sector as a corporate finance attorney at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP, a credit union analyst at the World Council of Credit Unions, and a management consultant at Oliver Wyman. Jennifer holds a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Stanford University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
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    Shawn Cole

    John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration, Finance Unit, Harvard Business School
    Shawn Cole is a professor in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School, where he teaches and conducts research on financial services and social enterprise. Much of his research examines corporate and household finance in emerging markets, with a focus on insurance, credit, and savings. He has also done extensive work on financial education in the US and emerging markets. His recent research focuses on designing and delivering advice and education over mobile phones, with an emphasis on agricultural and financial management. He has worked in China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Vietnam. He is an affiliate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development. He is on the board of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab, as the co-chair for research. At HBS, he has taught FIN1 and FIN2 in the core curriculum, Business at the Base of the Pyramid, and courses on impact investing, as well various executive education courses. He currently teaches the PhD development sequence in the department of Economics. Before joining the Harvard Business School, Professor Cole worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the economic research department. He has served on the Boston Federal Reserve's Community Development Research Advisory Council, serves as an external advisor to the Gates Foundation, and was the chair of the endowment management committee of the Telluride Association, a non-profit educational organization. He received a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005, where he was an NSF and Javits Fellow, and an A.B. in Economics and German Literature from Cornell University. His work on insurance earned the 2015 "Shin Research Excellence Award;" in 2015 he was also named given a “Faculty Pioneer Award” from the Aspen Institute.
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    Carlos Cornejo

    Group Head and Senior Vice President, Global Products and Solutions, Mastercard
    Carlos Cornejo is group head and senior vice president, New Consumers, within Global Products and Solutions. In this role, he is responsible for leading, developing and executing the new consumer strategy across MasterCard. This includes solutions that help the three billion underserved individuals around the world gain access to mainstream financial services through the development and deployment of innovative products and channels. These financial services include payments, savings, mobile money, bill payment, remittance, deposits, P2P, insurance and more. Mr. Cornejo has more than twenty years of experience in the services industry. During his tenure at MasterCard, Mr. Cornejo has held several roles with increasing levels of responsibility, including head of Core Products for Latin America (including debit, prepaid, credit, commercial and loyalty), and head of Product Sales for the Southern Cone and GeoNorth divisions in the same region. Before joining MasterCard, Mr. Cornejo held leadership positions in marketing and product areas at a variety of companies in various industries including telecommunications (Telefonica), insurance (AIG), banking (HSBC), and processing (Argencard). In these roles he led strategic planning, sales and delivery, design and implementation, tactic deployment, portfolio analysis, management information systems, among other functions. Mr. Cornejo earned a Master of Business Administration from CEMA University in Argentina, and an Industrial Engineering degree from Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires.
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    Tarek Ghani

    Assistant Professor, Olin School of Business, Washington University, St. Louis
    Tarek Ghani is an Assistant Professor at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. His fields of specialization are development economics, organizational economics and political economy, and his research explores the relationship between market development and institutional development in emerging economies. Tarek received his Ph.D. and M.S. from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and Honors in International Security from Stanford University. Before Berkeley, Tarek managed a grant portfolio on conflict prevention issues at the private foundation Humanity United, and previously worked with the Center for Global Development, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the World Bank.
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    Xavier Gine

    Lead Economist, Development Research Group
    Xavier Gine is a Lead Economist in the Finance and Private Sector Development Team of the Development Research Group at the World Bank. Since joining the World Bank, his research has focused on access to financial services and rural financial markets. In recent papers, he investigated the impact of microfinance services such as business training and financial literacy, microinsurance, microsavings and the impact of financial disclosure regulation. Prior to joining the Bank he was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the Economic Growth Center at Yale University. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain, an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago.
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    Billy Jack

    Professor of Economics at Georgetown University
    Billy Jack is a professor of economics at Georgetown University, and co-director of gui2de, the Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development and Evaluation, which conducts empirical field-based research to assess the impact and effectiveness of development interventions. Previously he held positions on the Joint Committee on Taxation of the US Congress, the IMF, the Australian National University, and the University of Sydney. He holds a BSc in mathematics and physics from the University of Western Australia, and an MPhil and DPhil in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
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    Cynthia Kinnan

    Assistant Professor of Economics, Northwestern University
    Cynthia Kinnan is an assistant professor of economics at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on how households and small firms in developing countries use financial products (e.g., credit, insurance, savings) and informal networks to finance investment, save, and cope with risk. She is particularly interested in the causes of missing markets, in the interaction between risk and household investment, in social networks, and in microfinance. Her current research projects include examining the long-run and general equilibrium effects of microcredit access in India; studying the financial and health benefits of health insurance in India; and investigating the consequences of migration access in China. She has also worked in Nigeria, Tanzania and Thailand. She is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an affiliate of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and a faculty fellow of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern.
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    Aprajit Mahajan

    Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley
    Aprajit Mahajan (Princeton Ph.D, 2004) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley with research interests in development economics and econometrics.
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    William F. Maloney

    Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institiutions, World Bank Group
    William F. Maloney is Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions in the World Bank Group. Previously he was Chief Economist for Trade and Competitiveness and Global Lead on Innovation and Productivity. Prior to the Bank, he was a Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1990-1997) and then joined, working as Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America until 2009. From 2009 to 2014, he was Lead Economist in the Development Economics Research Group. From 2011 to 2014 he was Visiting Professor at the University of the Andes and worked closely with the Colombian government on innovation and firm upgrading issues. Mr. Maloney received his PhD in economics from the University of California Berkeley (1990), his BA from Harvard University (1981), and he studied at the University of the Andes in Bogota, Colombia (1982-83). He has published on issues related to international trade and finance, developing country labor markets, and innovation and growth. In addition to publications in academic journals, he coauthored Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny and Lessons from NAFTA, Does What you Export Matter: In Search of Empirical Guidance for Industrial Policy, as well as several flagship publications of the Latin American division of the Bank, most recently Informality: Exit and Exclusion. Mr. Maloney was born in Boston, MA, on August 2, 1959.
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    Rebecca Mann

    Program Officer, Financial Services for the Poor, Gates Foundation
    Rebecca Mann leads the financial services research program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which she joined in 2012. She manages a portfolio of studies relating to the design, delivery, regulation and impact of financial services in emerging markets. Previously, she was a lawyer in the financial services regulation division at Herbert Smith Freehills in London and Brussels. Rebecca holds bachelor degrees in economics and law from the University of Sydney and a Master of Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is based in Seattle, USA.
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    Kathleen McGowan

    Senior Digital Finance Adviser for USAID’s Global Development Lab
    Kathleen (Kay) McGowan leads the Agency’s efforts to foster the growth of sustainable, ultra-inclusive economic infrastructure to expand financial inclusion, build market systems that support pathways out of poverty, and improve governance in emerging markets. She oversees efforts within USAID to reform procurement policy and program design to accelerate the growth of inclusive electronic payment systems. Prior joining USAID, Kay was a political officer in the State Department’s Foreign Service, and has significant experience in South Asia and the Middle East. Kay holds degrees in political science and public affairs from Vanderbilt University and the University of Texas at Austin.
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    Ceyla Pazarbasioglu

    Senior Adviser, Finance & Markets, World Bank
    Ceyla Pazarbasioglu is currently a Senior Adviser in the Finance and Markets Global Practice, World Bank Group, as part of a two-year secondment from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She is the Global Lead for the Financial Sector Oversight and Policy and Bank Regulation and Restructuring areas. Prior to this, she was Deputy Director at the Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the IMF, where she oversaw the work on financial sector regulation and supervision, and crisis prevention and management. She also managed the Fund’s work on the global regulatory reform agenda and led the Financial Sector Assessment Programs (FSAPs) for the United Kingdom (2011) and Spain (2012). Between August 2008 and February 2010, Dr. Pazarbasioglu was the mission chief for Ukraine. Prior to this position, her main focus was on banking restructuring issues, in particular in Argentina and Uruguay. Dr. Pazarbasioglu was appointed as the Vice President of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency of Turkey soon after the major banking crisis of February 2001. As a high level bureaucrat, she had to work closely with the Central Bank and the Treasury, with banking sector representatives as well as with the government to contain and resolve the crisis. During 1998–2001, Dr. Pazarbasioglu worked as the Chief Economist of Emerging European Markets at ABN AMRO Investment Bank in London. Prior to 1998, Dr. Pazarbasioglu worked at the IMF on financial sector issues and bank restructuring strategies in Nordic countries, Emerging Europe, Latin America, Turkey as well as in Korea and Thailand after the Asian crisis. Pazarbasioglu holds a PhD in economics from Georgetown University and was a visiting scholar at Princeton University. She is a certified Securities and Financial Derivatives Representative.
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    Douglas Pearce

    Practice Manager, Finance & Markets, World Bank
    Douglas Pearce is Practice Manager for Financial Inclusion & Infrastructure at the World Bank Group, which covers payment systems, digital financial inclusion, financial market infrastructures, financial inclusion policy, financial consumer protection, and related areas. He was previously Global Lead for Responsible Financial Access, and Lead Financial Sector Specialist. He is a member of the World Bank Group’s ID for Development (ID4D) initiative, and is on the Executive Committee for CGAP. His prior roles included leading the global Financial Sector Team at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), managing the DFID Palestinian program, and as senior financial sector specialist with CGAP. He has worked on financial inclusion and private sector development in the field (Argentina, Bolivia, Bosnia), in the Middle East/North Africa region for the World Bank group, and globally. He has authored technical guidance, policy and regulatory assessments, and research papers, including for the G20.
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    Mark Pickens

    Senior Director, Financial Inclusion, VISA
    Mark Pickens directs innovation and strategic initiatives for Visa’s global financial inclusion efforts, which have brought 300 million underserved consumers into the formal financial system since 2011. He previously served as Managing Director for the launch of mVisa, the company’s flagship mobile financial service in emerging markets. Before joining Visa he co-founded CGAP’s $40M philanthropic investment fund for digital financial inclusion in emerging markets. He served in a variety of leadership capacities with microfinance lenders in Bosnia, Cambodia and Madagascar, and founded successful media and health startups in New York City and Madagascar. He is a graduate of Stanford’s Design Institute and an Aspen Institute fellow.
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    José Sanin

    Mobile Money Specialist, GSMA Mobile Money Programme
    José Sanin is the a Mobile Money Specialist for the GSMA Mobile Money Programme. Based in Bogota, he conducts GSMA mobile money regulatory initiatives in Latin America, and coordinates operator working groups and task forces. Prior to joining GSMA in 2014, he worked at the Colombian Ministry of Finance and Public Debt in Bogotá, Colombia. José holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Northwestern University and a certificate in business management from Kellogg School of Management. José is a licenced Colombian lawyer, and graduated from Los Andes University with a further specialization in Commercial Law.
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    Simone Schaner

    Assistant Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College
    Simone Schaner is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, an affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and an affiliate of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. She is a development economist who uses randomized controlled trials to study issues related to household decision-making, financial access and innovation for the unbanked, health-seeking behavior, and international migration.
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    Shivani Siroya

    Founder and CEO, InVenture
    Shivani Siroya is the founder and CEO of InVenture, a mobile technology and data science company that aims to close the credit gap in emerging markets by using mobile data to overcome traditional barriers to financial access. Through its financial platform, InVenture collects thousands of data points per customer to build a real-time credit score, determine loan terms, and disburse instant credit. InVenture has disbursed millions of dollars in capital throughout East Africa and is rapidly expanding throughout Africa and Asia. InVenture was recognized by FastCompany as the #1 most innovative company in Money in 2015 and the #8 most innovative company in finance in 2016. Shivani has a wide array of professional experiences in global health, microfinance, and investment banking. Prior to InVenture she worked at the United Nations Population Fund, helping to develop costing models throughout Africa and Asia. She also has experience in investment banking both in mergers & acquisitions at Health Net, Citigroup and Equity Research at UBS. Shivani is a 2016 WEF Young Global Leader, 2015 Senior TED Fellow and 2013 Ashoka Fellow. Shivani is also on the board of Shivani holds a M.P.H from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.
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    Fiona Stewart

    Global Lead, Finance & Markets, World Bank
    Fiona Stewart is the Global Lead for the Insurance and Pensions Team in the World Bank's Finance & Markets Global Practice. The group provides policy advice on insurance and pension reform / market development to governments around the world. Previously, she worked for the OECD’s Financial Affairs Division for eight years and led the Secretariat of the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS), an international body representing over 70 countries, dedicated to cooperation and research on pension supervisory issues. Prior to working at the OECD, Fiona worked in the investment management industry. As head of American Express Asset Management in Japan she was responsible for investing $2bn in Asian equity markets, and, as part of an international team, for managing $20bn globally. She also worked for the Prudential insurance company in London and Tokyo. Fiona holds degrees from Oxford and Johns Hopkins Universities and a Chartered Financial Analyst qualification. She served on the advisory board of one of the OECD’s own pension funds.
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    Bilal Husnain Zia

    Senior Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank
    Bilal Husnain Zia is a Senior Economist in the Finance and Private Sector Development Team of the Development Research Group at the World Bank in Washington DC. He joined in July 2006 after completing a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research is focused on financial development at the household, firm and bank levels, and has appeared in top academic journals such as the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and Journal of Development Economics. He uses both experimental and non-experimental methods. Some of his recent work includes rigorous impact evaluations of financial education programs, testing innovative methods to improve financial access for households and firms, and applying insights from behavioral economics to development finance.

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