Financial Inclusion and Literacy
Today, 2.5 billion adults lack access to formal financial services,1 such as savings, payments, credit and insurance. The financially excluded have to piece together an array of costly, risky and inconvenient cash-based financial services to meet their daily needs. The lack of access to formal financial services also limits a family’s ability to prepare for financial shocks, often resulting in tough choices—whether to pay for a child’s school fees, a family member’s medical vaccine or meals—that can perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
That is why reaching the billions of financially excluded with secure and reliable financial services at scale is a shared goal of governments, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector—including Visa. Visa plays an important role in advancing financial inclusion. Through our products and services as well as our network, we enable money to move electronically, allowing basic financial services to be delivered with more convenience, greater reach and increased efficiency. We share our payments expertise with government and industry, and we partner with leading nongovernmental organizations to support programs that advance financial inclusion, complemented by our delivery of financial literacy programs around the world.
Read more about our focus areas of financial inclusion and literacy.
- Products, Services and Network
- Our Payments Expertise
- Strategic Partnerships
- Global Financial Literacy Programs
You can also learn more about Visa's role in advancing financial inclusion by downloading our Financial Inclusion Fact Sheet.
The change that financial inclusion can bring about for individuals, countries and the global economy is significant.
- For individuals: Being financially included brings the ability to manage day-to-day resources more effectively by having safer and more dignified and convenient ways to send and receive money or pay bills. Access to these services can help family members build a better foundation for escaping poverty by giving them the tools needed to save, plan for emergencies and live a more stable financial life.
- For governments: Greater financial inclusion increases citizens’ economic participation, contributing to a more stable society.
- For economies: Financial inclusion enables more money to be taken out from under mattresses and moved into the formal economy, creating new opportunities for reinvestment and driving economic growth.
We are helping bring more people into the financial system and advancing financial inclusion through our products, services and network; our payments expertise; our strategic philanthropic partnerships; and our leading financial literacy programs.
1Half the World is Unbanked, Financial Access Initiative, 2009.