Payment aspects of financial inclusion
Transaction accounts, as defined in the report, are accounts held with banks or other authorised and/or regulated service providers which can be used to make and receive payments and to store value. Such accounts include both deposit transaction accounts and e-money accounts. A transaction account is an essential financial service that can serve as a gateway to other financial services such as savings, credit and insurance. However, many still have no such account.
The report outlines the following seven guiding principles for improving access to and usage of transaction accounts: (i) commitment from public and private sector organisations; (ii) a robust legal and regulatory framework underpinning financial inclusion; (iii) safe, efficient and widely reachable financial and information and communication technology infrastructures; (iv) transaction accounts and payment product offerings that effectively meet a broad range of transaction needs; (v) availability of a broad network of access points and interoperable access channels; (vi) effective awareness and financial literacy efforts; and (vii) the leveraging of large-volume and recurrent payment streams, including remittances, to advance financial inclusion objectives.
In addition, the report suggests possible key actions for relevant authorities, including providing basic accounts at little or no cost, stepping up efforts to increase financial literacy, and leveraging large-volume payment programmes, such as government payments, by adopting electronic payment services.