The 2010 AFI Survey Report on Financial Inclusion Policy in Developing Countries

Building global commitment to overcome financial exclusion
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This paper presents findings from a survey undertaken by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI). It illustrates regulatory and policy approaches to financial inclusion adopted by AFI members in developing countries.

The survey revealed that financial inclusion poses challenges that are unique to developing countries. It also identified a number of common trends in financial inclusion policy among different countries. All the countries in the survey recognized that:

  • Policymakers’ role is changing, and leadership is important to successful financial inclusion strategies;
  • Microfinance can be used as an entry point for improving access;
  • Although new technology is important, it is not the only consideration for developing country policymakers looking to improve access;
  • Savings are a fundamental element of financial inclusion initiatives;
  • Banks have an important role to play in reaching the poor with their services;
  • Financial inclusion policy should focus not only on supply concerns, but also on consumer demand.

Adopting comprehensive, country-specific policies that respond to demand and supply-side barriers is the most effective way for countries to foster financial inclusion.