A commitment to easy banking and technology has made BBVA a global thought leader in financial inclusion. BBVA Group has signed a strategic agreement with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), becoming the newest partner of the AFI Public-Private Dialogue Platform.
BBVA will contribute industry expertise to AFI's working groups in the areas of consumer protection, digital financial services, microlending, financial inclusion strategies and financial inclusion data. BBVA will also provide its sector know-how to support 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 GPF is considered the largest and most important event dedicated to the issue of 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 present its award for financial inclusion, a category created specifically for the company's Open Talent 2015 contest. The award will recognize one outstanding startup that offers digital financial solutions to small businesses and/or low-income customers. The winner will have the opportunity to present his or her project at the Global Policy Forum and participate in a two-week immersion program to learn about technology companies in the financial sector as well as promote his or her business. The winner will be announced on August 7, 2015.
BBVA's head of Easy Banking & Financial Inclusion, Carlos Lopez-Moctezuma, said, "The agreement with AFI provides a unique public-private opportunity to exchange industry knowledge 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, 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, 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 percent 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 low income individuals and families.