The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the World Bank Group today issued a consultative report on Payment aspects of financial inclusion. The report examines demand and supply-side factors affecting financial inclusion in the context of payment systems and services, and suggests measures to address these issues.
Financial inclusion efforts – from a payment perspective – should aim at achieving a number of objectives. Ideally, all individuals and businesses should have access to and be able to use at least one transaction account operated by a regulated payment service provider, to: (i) perform most, if not all, of their payment needs; (ii) safely store some value; and (iii) serve as a gateway to other financial services.
Benoît Cœuré, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) and CPMI Chairman, says that, “With this report, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the World Bank Group make an important contribution to improving financial inclusion. Financial inclusion efforts are beneficial not only for those that have no access to financial services, but also for the national payments infrastructure and, ultimately, the economy.”
Gloria M. Grandolini, Senior Director, Finance and Markets Global Practice of the World Bank Group, comments that, “This report will help us better understand how payment systems and services promote access to and effective usage of financial services. It provides an essential tool to meeting our ambitious goal of universal financial access for working-age adults by 2020.”
The report outlines seven guiding principles designed to assist countries that want to advance financial inclusion in their markets through payments: (i) commitment from public and private sector organisations; (ii) a robust legal and regulatory framework underpinning financial inclusion; (iii) safe, efficient and widely reachable financial and ICT infrastructures; (iv) transaction accounts and payment product offerings that effectively meet a broad range of transaction needs; (v) availability of a broad network of access points and interoperable access channels; (vi) effective financial literacy efforts; and (vii) the leveraging of large-volume and recurrent payment streams, including remittances, to advance financial inclusion objectives.