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Friday, June 15, 2012

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Track: Roundtable Café View Track

THE LATEST INNOVATIONS IN FINANCIAL INCLUSION FROM AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE (COMPASS PRINCIPLE: EMBRACE INCLUSION)

Sarah Rotman, CGAP

When Green Dot bought a small bank hidden away in Utah last November, the first thing I thought of was Pakistan. That's because this business model where a nonbank buys a bank for reasons usually linked to regulation happened three years ago in Pakistan. The mobile network operator Telenor bought the much smaller microfinance bank Tameer in order to launch the mobile money product known as "easypaisa." 

Not only are mobile network operators launching products to reach the unbanked, but banks are innovating with prepaid cards, nonbanks are structuring new business models around electronic money, and almost everyone is working on the best strategy to effectively use agents to reduce cost and expand outreach.

The market and regulatory context varies greatly from country to country, and admittedly the financial inclusion industry looks very different in the US than in other parts of the world. But there are also striking similarities. In this roundtable discussion, we will discuss the latest innovations in financial inclusion from an international perspective, and specifically discuss how innovators can build trust as they push new products, reach new customer segments, and use new channels. We can learn as much from the similarities that exist across countries as we can from the differences.

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