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Entrepreneurship & Startups Updated: 23 Dec 2015

BBVA and AFI join forces to accelerate financial inclusion

A commitment to easy banking and technology has made BBVA a global example in financial inclusion. The BBVA Group has signed a strategic accord with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), becoming the newest partner of the AFI Public-Private Dialogue Platform.

BBVA will contribute technical input to  AFI’s Working Groups, which focus on  consumer protection, digital financial services, SME finance and financial inclusion strategies and financial inclusion data. BBVA will also provide technical input to support the scaling up to AFI’s regional peer learning and knowledge sharing platform in Latin America.

As part of its agreement with AFI, BBVA will participate in the Global Policy Forum (GPF) this September in Mozambique. The AFI GPF is the largest and most important forum dedicated to financial inclusion. Senior policymakers and representatives from central banks, regulatory institutions, the private sector and the academic world will be in attendance to discuss and promote innovative policy solution ideas for financial inclusion, based on the experience of AFI member countries.

During the Global Policy Forum, BBVA will be awarding a prize for financial inclusion in its Open Talent 2015 Contest, which has created a special category for this purpose. This award is for startups that provide digital financial solutions to small businesses or low-income customers.

The winner will present her or his project at the Global Policy Forum and participate in a two-week immersion program to learn about technology companies in the financial sector and promote her or his business. The winner will be announced on August 7th.

BBVA's head of Easy Banking & Financial Inclusion, Carlos López-Moctezuma, said, "The agreement with AFI provides a unique public-private opportunity to share know-how and best practices. Specifically we are going to focus on how technology can help create wealth at the base of the pyramid."


AFI executive director Alfred Hannig added that, "BBVA will provide unique knowledge and insights to AFI’s peer learning and technical capacity building model, particularly in Latin America”. “This partnership with BBVA also raises awareness of the technological innovation taking place in Latin America, as well as globally, which has the potential to increase access to, and improve the usage and quality of financial services."

Financial inclusion policy helps to give families and businesses access to banking services in a responsible and sustainable manner within a suitably regulated environment.  At present there are 2 billion adults who are underbanked worldwide, which represents 38% of the total adult population.

In emerging markets, such as Latin America, almost of half of the adults (49%) are underbanked, according to the 2014 Global Findex survey. The AFI and the BBVA Group -through its franchises and through BBVA Microfinance Foundation- are both firmly committed to increasing global financial inclusion levels and making a positive impact on the lives of the poor.