2019 ADBI Annual Conference: Financial Inclusion, Financial Education, and Fintech

Improving access to financial services such as savings, credit, investment, insurance, and retirement products in Asia and the Pacific could boost living standards for millions of people as well as innovative startups and small businesses vital to sustainable growth in the region. Realizing these benefits hinges on lowering barriers to the availability of quality, low-cost financial services in urban and rural areas, including poorer areas considered less profitable by banks and other financial institutions. To fully capitalize on increased access to financial services in Asia and the Pacific will require tackling low levels of financial literacy among its emerging economies. This could avert undesirable behaviors like inadequate saving, excessive borrowing at high interest rates, and inadequate financial record keeping by small and medium-sized enterprises. The move toward defined-contribution pension schemes in the region further raises the importance of enhancing financial education, especially for vulnerable populations.