New report examines payment aspects of financial inclusion
9 September 2015
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.
The report is currently being issued as a consultation document and comments are invited from any interested parties. Comments should be sent to the CPMI and the World Bank Group by 7 December 2015; please mention "PAFI" in the subject line of your e-mail. A final version of the report will then be published.
The report has been prepared for the CPMI and the World Bank Group by a task force consisting of representatives from CPMI central banks, non-CPMI central banks active in the area of financial inclusion and international financial institutions. The task force was jointly chaired by Marc Hollanders (Special Adviser on Financial Infrastructure, Bank for International Settlements) and Massimo Cirasino (Practice Manager, Financial Infrastructure & Access, Finance & Markets Global Practice, World Bank Group).
The CPMI promotes the safety and efficiency of payment, clearing, settlement and related arrangements, thereby supporting financial stability and the wider economy. It is a global standard setter in this area. The CPMI monitors and analyses developments in these arrangements, both within and across jurisdictions. It aims to strengthen regulation, policy and practices regarding such arrangements worldwide. It also serves as a forum for central bank cooperation in related oversight, policy and operational matters, including the provision of central bank services. The CPMI secretariat is hosted by the BIS. More information about the CPMI, and all its publications, can be found on the BIS website.
Over the last 20 years, the World Bank Group's Payment Systems Development Group (PSDG) has supported the development and reform of national payment systems, including international remittance markets, in more than 130 countries. The primary activities of the PSDG include conducting comprehensive diagnostics of payments and settlement systems including remittance markets, designing comprehensive reforms of the national payments system, implementing and modernising payment systems and securities settlement systems, advising on the enabling legal and regulatory framework reform, modernising retail payments and government payments, designing and assisting in implementing payment system oversight policies, and supporting regional integration and harmonisation initiatives. The World Bank Group has also engaged at the global level, helping to shape standard-setting initiatives and convene forums. More information about the PSDG and all its publications can be found on the WBG website.