Citi- Financial Times financial education conference – Hong Kong 4-5 December

In the 2011 Citi-FT financial education conference in Jakarta, many presentations focused on how to use financial education as a marketing tool for banks and MFIs to reach more customers; this year, the focus is shifting and at several panel sessions panelists said that banks have to be closer to their customers, stop being in conflict with them and offer them relevant services :). I hope we will see soon banks offer micro-savings and micro-insurance products and not just focus on microcredit.
A second important consensus was on the need for financial education to focus on few practical points that participants can apply immediately- and stay away from long sessions. The poorer people are, the more stressed they tend to be, and the less likely they are going to listen to too general programmes.
Third takeaway: all programmes must undergo a systematic evaluation of the outcome.
Several presentations also showed how technology is moving faster than financial education and can offer opportunities to reach the poorest and gather data to analyse needs and programmes outcome.

The best invention shown during the conference: the living wallet, which runs away if you have already spent too much!


The most moving moment: Chetna Sinha (Mann Deshi Bank) talking how she gradually built Mann Deshi Bank and how each innovation was brought to address practical issue faced by members (card with chip to replace passbook, business school bus…).

The most important slide to me was presented by INNO and is similar to what we have been observing since 2005 when a+b=3 started: people get a bigger income but are more likely to have debts:

And congratulations to Myriam Bartu, Enrich co-founder for her presentation on financial education and migrant workers in Hong Kong.

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