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.
Read the full summary report here.