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寄希望于无银行户头者

多伦多——在一片悲观消息的海洋里,出现了一抹亮眼的颜色。世界银行计划于明年春天发布的个人银行账户最新统计数据预计将会表明越来越多的人开始持有银行或其他正式金融机构的账户。

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2015年4月,世界银行最近一次发表全球金融发展水平指数报告时,估计有7亿成年人(主要来自发展中国家)已经在过去三年中获得了金融服务。这相当于全球“拥有银行账户”的个人增长超过21%。因为扩大金融服务范围有助于实现脱贫,因此,上述指标的提升可以被视为人类发展领域的积极信号。

但我所在机构不会在新报告发表时庆祝胜利。无论世行数据如何,为世界最贫困人口提供普遍金融服务仍然是一个遥远的目标。

目前,仍有约20亿成年人无法享受到正式的金融服务。文件要求繁琐、账户费用过高、银行分支机构有限以及金融机构“只为富人服务”的理念共同构成的障碍往往最难以克服。

在万事达基金会,我们正在为协助世界最贫困人口克服这些障碍而努力工作。本月在加纳的阿克拉,我们召开了第五届金融包容性年度研讨会,汇集了数百位金融服务提供商、决策者、学者和发展专家共同研究如何扩大和深化贯彻金融包容。

我们举办上述全球会议始于2013年,而每年都会出现一个熟悉的问题:那就是金融机构可以将更多精力投入到关注最贫困客户的需求当中。因为银行往往不考虑贫困客户的行为和希望,因此他们并不总能提供穷人所需的产品和服务。如果行业优先目标发生变化,那么实现包容性的障碍自然而然就会有所下降。

扭转这一趋势本来应当相对容易。归根结底,如果民众兴旺发达,银行也会受益。穷人在开立银行账户后往往会存更多的钱或者进行手机支付。储蓄增加将会带来整体繁荣。父母能轻易支付费用时孩子在学校的表现也会更好。女性也会拥有更强的创业能力。贫困家庭能够更好地面对农作物歉收、疾病或自然灾害等不利影响。

拥有银行账户对经济产生的正面连锁反应显而易见。有了银行账户,处在创业阶段的企业家可以建立自己的信用,并享受负责任的正规贷款商所提供的服务。而小企业有了资金就可以成长为大企业,雇用包括年轻人在内的更多民众。

近年来在技术协助下已经缩小了目前存在的差距。肯尼亚M-Pesa移动应用程序等数字支付平台的成功表明如果根据弱势客户的需求来设计产品,他们会以何等的速度对这些廉价产品和服务加以利用。

此外,非洲和亚洲的金融技术公司正在寻找创新方式来分析贫困人口活动所产生的数据,并利用相关数据来设计和提供更高质量的银行服务。超越传统的方法也正在不断涌现,比如通过他们已经在使用并且信任的小型独立企业来联系那些尚未开立银行账户的贫困人口。

但金融机构仍将承担扩大金融服务的大部分职责。我经常听到的一个说法是金融服务业的本质是风险厌恶。鉴于银行对客户负有信托责任,这种特征并不完全错误。但银行和其他金融机构应当意识到风险防护能够与为贫困客户提供服务实现完美兼容。

因为忽视贫困群体的需求,金融机构正在忽视规模巨大的潜在市场。要想接触到数以亿计的新客户,全球金融机构只需要站在穷人的角度进行某种象征性的思考,而后他们就会发现不应当因为过时、不准确或不公平的假设而剥夺任何人的金融服务。

今天,从负责任的现代金融服务中获益的普通人正越来越多。毫无疑问,明年的世行数据将会展现出更丰硕的成果。但要想创造一个没有人被排斥在外的世界,金融业必须把业务核心转移到关注贫困客户的需求。只有到那时,关于金融包容性的好消息才会结出丰硕的成果。

翻译:Xu Binbin

http://prosyn.org/A62BSeG/zh;

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