CITI and the Financial Times organised their 8th conference on financial education on November 28 and 29 in Jakarta. The main focus of the conference was Financial Education and Financial inclusion for the disadvantaged, as a way to empower them.
Over the two days, speakers from various banks, microcredit and NGO operating in Asia but also Kenya and Peru presented their personal finance and entrepreneurship programmes. The most common formats included trainers’ guides but it can also include comic strips, video clips and mentor’s guides. Financial Education programmes tend to cover the same topics (spending, debt, savings, planning and banking products) but the focus depends on the organisation and the clients’ types. Banks and microfinance institutions tend to focus more on banking products while NGO may include topics such as “how to say no to family” or “how to communicate with family about money.”
What about financial inclusion? Financial inclusion is to have a bank account and understand the main financial products. Yves Moury from Fundacion Capital (Colombia and Peru) introduced how his organisation promotes the financial inclusion of very poor Indigenous rural people in Peru. Very low income people already save – especially women, but traditional savings instruments don’t allow any anonymity (the entire village knows how many cattle they have), animals are not divisible and there is more pressure especially from the spouse to sell the animals and spend the money. Mr. Moury insisted that bank accounts would not replace traditional saving tools (mostly animals or tools) but be used as additional instruments. They also include Financial Education in their programmes but one big issue is the cost of organising and running live training. So, they plan to use other delivery modes like mobile phone with “nudge” SMS, tablet devices in banks for self-education, and tablet computers in villages for peer learning in communities. More on www.proyectocapital.org