Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion

Seven guiding principles to help countries increase financial inclusion through payment services

This report provides an analysis of the payment aspects of financial inclusion, on the basis of which it sets out guiding principles designed to assist countries that seek to advance financial inclusion in their markets through payments. The report is premised on two key points: 

  • Efficient, accessible and safe retail payment systems and services are critical for greater financial inclusion;
  • A transaction account is an essential financial service in its own right and can also serve as a gateway to other financial services. 

The report is structured into five chapters discussing the following:

  1. Introduction and general overview, including a description of the PAFI Task Force and its mandate, a brief discussion of transaction accounts, and the barriers to the access and usage of such accounts;
  2. An overview of the retail payments landscape from a financial inclusion perspective;
  3. Outline of a framework for enabling access and usage of payment services by the financially excluded. Each component of this framework is discussed in detail in the report;
  4. Key policy objectives when looking at financial inclusion from a payments perspective, and a number of suggestions in the form of guiding principles and key actions for consideration;
  5. Solutions to a number of issues in connection with measuring the effectiveness of financial inclusion efforts in the context of payments and payment services, with a particular emphasis on transaction account adoption and usage. 

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