Financial inclusion helps lift people out of poverty and can help speed economic development. It can draw more women into the mainstream of economic activity, harnessing their contributions to society. And it will help governments provide more efficient delivery of services to their people by streamlining transfers and cutting administrative costs.
Why is it that despite new technologies and widespread innovation, today's financial sector provides such ill-fitting products and services to so many people and leaves so many more entirely unserved? We are missing a huge opportunity for business, policy and society alike - a missed opportunity with lasting negative effects
Given the potential for great returns, a flurry of entrepreneurial activity has generated services to cater to individuals who live and work outside the financial mainstream. While not all of this activity is positive, a few promising innovations stand poised to increase financial inclusion in the U.S. and abroad.
Wherever she lives, no matter what country, when a woman controls her own finances she invests that money in ways that can bring about long-term change -- education for her children, health care and better housing for her family. But low-income women around the world are routinely denied access to the basic financial products that most of us take for granted.