Financial inclusion - G20 initiatives and the role of the Bank of Italy
Financial exclusion concerns 2.5 billion individuals and more than 450 million enterprises. The G20 countries are committed to the reduction of this phenomenon. The Bank of Italy has a fundamental role in the field of financial inclusion, both on a national and an international scale through financial education, banking, markets and payment system supervision, and technical cooperation with other central banks. The Bank has been one of the first institutions to draw public attention to the importance of economic and financial literacy in order to enable consumers to take informed decisions. It has helped the institutions of developing countries to facilitate the financial inclusion of disadvantaged individuals through the development of small intermediaries. Innovative payment instruments can improve financial inclusion. Thanks to a recently introduced reform, the Italian retail payments market can now be accessed by intermediaries combining the provision of payment services and business activities. Mobile-phone operators can now access widely used payment systems by telephone to break into the micro-payment sector which is today dominated by cash transactions. A key role is also played by pre-paid cards.
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