The World Bank estimates that 2 billion people don’t use formal financial services and that more than 50% of adults in the poorest households are unbanked. Some 200 million small and medium-sized enterprises are also unbanked. Without access to formal financial services, the world's poor are often left with no choice but to make money management decisions that are risky, expensive and unreliable.
Microfinance plays a key role in providing financial products and services to the economically disadvantaged. Financial inclusion is about much more than just access.
Financial inclusion recognises the broader challenges of ensuring that everyone, regardless of income, has access to and can effectively use appropriate, affordable financial products and services to improve their lives.
Responsible inclusive finance recognizes the importance of financial literacy and consumer empowerment and incorporates client protection principles that meet the special needs and constraints of low-income households and vulnerable consumers.