An estimated 2.6 billion people around the globe live without formal banking and financial services, according to the World Bank.

The inability to access formal banking systems prevents this group from receiving credit, obtaining insurance, launching or expanding businesses, as well as preparing for long-term goals and emergencies.

The World Bank also estimates 50 percent of adults in the poorest households are underbanked. Women, the rural poor, refugees and other groups are among the most likely to be underbanked, depending on the location.

The ability to access formal banking systems also impacts individuals and families displaced by conflict, with nearly 80 percent of adults in fragile and conflict-affected states unable to use formal financial services, the World Bank reports. 

Increasing financial inclusion is seen as an integral step to alleviating poverty and has been tied to enabling 7 of 17 Sustainable Development Goals as outlined by the United Nations.

New technology and online systems are viewed as possible solutions to expand access to more underbanked individuals, along with focused efforts by countries to modify regulations to let newer types of financial institutions reach affected populations.

While some progress has been made in this field, more remains to be done in order to expand banking access.

In a live 60-minute webinar on Tuesday 20 June hosted by, Mastercard’s Nina Nieuwoudt, a senior business leader for public sector and humanitarian solutions, will moderate a panel on the latest work surrounding financial inclusion efforts with Thea Anderson, Mercy Corps’ director for financial inclusion and Sucharita Mukherjee, IMFR Holdings’ managing director and CEO.

The event will include both a discussion section and question-and-answer session with registered participants. The group will focus their discussion on:

  • Innovative approaches to financial inclusion for the underbanked.
  • Understanding the needs of refugee communities in times of stress, and ways to incorporate financial inclusion best practices into plans to serve these groups.
  • The latest prevailing trends and best practices with financial inclusion tools and technologies.

Visit Zilient to register!

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