CYFI News & Blog

Latest news and articles from Child & Youth Finance and the CYF Movement Network

Leading The Way Towards Safer Payments for Children

​Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) and Mastercard are launching a groundbreaking guide on banking and payment products for minors. Unique in its approach, the 'Safer Payment Products for Minors' guide identifies recommended practices on how Financial Service Providers (FSPs) can develop age-appropriate payment products for minors; promoting responsible spending and financial decision-making whilst incorporating functionalities that allow for parental guidance towards a minor's financial autonomy.

At a time when governments, the private sector and civil society are doubling down on their efforts to build a more inclusive society, these new guidelines ensure the needs and safety of the next generation are part of the process. Financial, digital and gender inclusion are crucial elements to build a stable world in which everyone gets the chance to fulfill its potential. Minors are the foundation of tomorrow's society and need to be brought into the financial mainstream in a responsible manner.

Developed for national and international financial institutions, the guide is intended to help decision makers and product owners understand the responsibilities, needs and risks associated with this market.

In addition to the goal of supporting the creation of safe and appropriate products for minors, the guide seeks to foster dialogue between parent and child. In this way both Financial Service Providers and parents can guide minors towards financial inclusion, autonomy and responsibility.

Walt Macnee, Vice Chairman Mastercard says: "Today's minors are the adults of tomorrow. As they grow up, we need to ensure that they are prepared to fully participate in the formal and increasingly digital economy. By ensuring that the tools and products that they are given are age-appropriate, we contribute to that preparation."

Recognizing that the varying functional and supervisory requirements of financial products for minors vary depending on the age and development of young people, the paper advocates for an end objective of empowering minors to fully manage their own payment products and money.

The guide was created by Mastercard, Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), ParentPay, nimbl and Mirador Digital, with contributions from a range of organizations in the financial sector.

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Queen Máxima joins Global Money Week celebration for youth

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) will collaborate with leading partners in the Netherlands on an event taking place on 30 March 2017 to highlight the importance of financial inclusion for youth.

The 6th edition of "Global Money Week", celebrated in 135 countries worldwide, takes place from 27 March - 2 April 2017. The Dutch Money Week, "Week van het geld", is organized during the same period. Both events provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of financial education and financial inclusion by connecting children and youth from around the world.

This special joint Global Money Week celebration is organized by CYFI in collaboration with the Money Wise Platform (platform Wijzer in geldzaken), Aflatoun International and partners. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, honorary chair of the Money Wise Platform, will join the celebration.

Linking with the important issue of providing child and youth-friendly services, Queen Máxima will receive the pioneering document "Safer Payment Products for Minors – guiding minors towards financial autonomy," co-authored by CYFI and Mastercard in collaboration with partners. As the UN Secretary General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development and honorary patron of the G20's Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, Queen Máxima is a leading global voice advancing universal access to affordable, effective and safe financial services in order to strengthen human development, especially among the poor. In The Netherlands she supports financial inclusion particularly in the areas of financial literacy and financial education.


Moderated by renowned Dutch TV presenter and global traveler Floortje Dessing, the event includes an interactive "Trip Around the World" connecting Dutch and international children and youth to share insights on what the Global Money Week theme "Learn. Save. Earn" means to young people in their country, and addressing the issue: does money make you happy? During various interactive workshops, school students will focus on key themes such as saving and borrowing, digital payments, tools for entrepreneurs, and social and financial education.

In the afternoon, international stakeholders will join a round table discussion on "Digital Finance and Consumer Protection Implications for Youth (digital natives)." Panelists will discuss opportunities, challenges, risks and solutions related to digital financial inclusion of the young generation.


Official press release from the Royal House of the Netherlands can be found (in Dutch) here.

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Scaling and Sustaining Youth Financial Services within the Microfinance Sector

​There continue to be challenges in convincing financial institutions that there is a viable business case to be made for significantly investing in Child and Youth Friendly Banking Products the provision of services for young clients around the world.

CYFI presented on this topic at the European Microfinance Summit in Barcelona, Jan 26-27th, along with the Mastercard Foundation and other leading European microfinance institutions and associations. The purpose of the conference was to share innovations in digital finance, social protection , environmental stewardship, financial literacy and client outreach in the microfinance sector. 

Participants were introduced to the components of Child and Youth Friendly Banking and the insights gathered from CYFI's advocacy and youth product development work around the world. CYFI was the only organization presenting on financial products for under 18s and participants were interested in hearing about how they could better serve this important demographic. Using the CGAP Business Case Framework for youth financial services, participants explored many of the aspects that contribute to the business case for Child and Youth Friendly Products:

  • Market Level Levers (government regulation, market competition)
  • Institutional Levers (opportunity costs, institutional commitment/resilience, time frame)
  • Segment Specific Levers (urban vs. rural youth, in school vs. out of school, online vs. offline)
  • Profitability Drivers (marketing, product design, product delivery model and operational support)

Drawing on the 2015 European Microfinance Platform Publication, CYFI was able to show the results of a case study analysis demonstrating how youth financial services have a greater probability for scale and sustainability when they are offered to older youth in urban areas, within a strong, facilitative macroeconomic environment and with the dedicated support of the institution's Management Team and Board. 

Innovation solutions to mobile banking or e-learning, and adopting a critical minimum approach to tailored financial literacy, can also help boost scale and sustainability of these products and services.




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CYFI joins workshop and meeting of G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion

The G20 Global Partnership for Financial inclusion (GPFI) held its first workshop and meeting under the German Presidency of the G20 from the 23 to 24 January 2017 in Wiesbaden. Among the topics discussed were:

  • Alignment between GPFI priorities and other G20 work stream, including the German office of the Sherpa, the Finance Track and the Development Working Group
  • The G20 Financial Inclusion Action Plan, revised and updated to ensure alignment with the 2030 Development Agenda-Financial inclusion of forcibly displaced people
  • Implementation of the High Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion
  • Implementation of G20 Action plan on SME Finance


Concrete steps were taken to finalize the GPFI Subgroup Work Plans for 2017. Along with Germany, China and Argentina are 2017 GPFI Co-Chairs.

CYFI is actively participating as affiliated member of the GPFI platform in two of its working group: SME Finance Subgroup and Financial Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy Subgroup.

Find out more information about the workshop and meeting here.


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nimbl – the future of financial inclusion through fintech

In a recent survey of 6,000 parents in the UK, 7 in 10 agreed that their children do not understand the value of money in the way that they did when they were the same age. The survey, commissioned by nimbl, the prepaid MasterCard® debit card and smartphone app for children aged 8-18, found that 80% of parents believe that children spend money too easily. 2 in 3 parents also believe that the growth of digital money makes it harder for children to learn about spending.

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Youth Financial Inclusion is Officially a Priority of the G20: Hurray for Turkey!

It is with great pride that we share that youthTurkey-G20-Logo.png will now be at the forefront of the advancement in global financial inclusion according to the Turkish Presidency of the G20. The Presidency newly announced their 2015 financial inclusion agenda which begins with a strong focus on youth. The Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the inclusive platform of the G20, will respond to the need for financial inclusion and financial education for youth focusing on the following points:

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Policy Pledge for a Generation of Financially Capable Young People

Today is the last day of the 3rd Annual Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) Regional Meeting for Africa. Held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the meeting brought together Africa’s finest policy makers, educators, research and academic institutions, financial service providers, as well as representatives from various government ministries. The main objective of the meeting is to develop a common African position on the advancement of a unified financial education and inclusion plan of action for children and youth across the continent.

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Shaping Egypt's Future through Financial Education

Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) has recently launched a series of radio talk shows on financial literacy awareness and education. The radio series is part EBI's financial inclusion initiative called "Shaping the Future." In addition, on October 28, in partnership with GIZ, EBI held a training workshop for the members of the "National Committee for Drafting Financial Literacy Strategy in Egypt". The workshop brought together international experts to discuss the current state of financial education in Egypt and to enhance the skills of the committee members in their development of a national financial education strategy which is in line with international best practices.
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Webinar: Savings and Retail Banks building financial capabilities of children and youth

Webinar: “Banco Caja Social and MicroBank: Savings and Retail Banks building financial capabilities of children and youth”

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Press Release: Youth to Lead the World to an Inclusive Future

PRESS RELEASE

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Webinar: Building the business case for youth services

As the spirit of Global Money Week continues and our partners in the financial sector are showing more interest in developing products for children and youth, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to organize a webinar and raise the question of whether there is a business case for youth services.

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Webinar: Banking a New Generation, Developing Responsible Financial Retail Banking Products for Children and Youth

Presentation of a CYFI/MasterCard Guide

Join us on Monday, March 17 at 2:00 - 3:00 PM CET, as Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) will be co-hosting with MasterCard a webinar that presents a brand new Guide for leading national and international financial institutions with an ability to drive significant outreach (1 million+). The Guide is relevant for those organizations who are evaluating an existing investment in financial products for children and youth, and for those debating whether to enter the segment for the first time. The Guide is intended to help decision makers, products owners and all stakeholders in the product development process understand the impact of working with children and youth, and provide guidelines on how to develop appropriate innovative banking and payment products, while respecting and supporting children’s rights.

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Efforts to Advance Financial Inclusion of Children and Youth Get Boost

Press Release

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Reshaping the Future of MicroFinance

Microfinance’s greatest opportunity cost: children and youth

Editor's Note: this article originally appeared in 100MillionIdeas.org

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The European Case: Financial Inclusion & The Prevention of the Next Financial Crisis

The European Case: Financial Inclusion & The Prevention of the Next Financial Crisis

Just a few days ago we celebrated the World Savings Day. But there are still many people who are excluded from the formal financial services and bank accounts. According to a newly made study by MasterCard, the population of unbanked and underbanked totals 93 million people in Western Europe alone.

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Getting Child and Youth Finance on the Microfinance Agenda

Getting Child and Youth Finance on the Microfinance Agenda

We had so many great lessons and met a multitude of inspiring people and organizations during the Partnership Against Poverty Summit in Manila, Philippines, hosted by Microcredit Summit Campaign. One of the most rewarding things we took with us from the meeting was the fact that Child and Youth Finance has now made its way into the international microfinance agenda. A great sign of this is the recently announced partnership between CYFI and Microcredit Summit Campaign - partnering up to reach 100 million children, youth and their families with financial inclusion.

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Pesacard: A Smartcard to Boost Financial Empowerment of Children in Kenya

In Kenya, 75% of the country’s 40 million citizens own a mobile phone and a similar percentage of that sector uses mobile money services, particularly M-PESA. Behind the scenes, the key player driving financial inclusion is not a bank but the leading mobile phone service provider – Safaricom.

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'Partnerships Against Poverty' goes beyond Summit as CYFI Partner with Microcredit Summit Campaign

'Partnerships Against Poverty' goes beyond Summit as CYFI Partner with Microcredit Summit Campaign

Microcredit Summit Campaign and Child & Youth Finance International Partner to Fight Poverty and Promote Financial Inclusion for Millions

11 October 2013

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The Swedes believe – 13 year olds should have a debit card

Earlier this year, Point Group, a Sweden-based managed services group, wrapped up a survey that aimed to determine how old Swedes believe children should be before they should be given their own debit card.The results (spoiler in the title!) might surprise many Westerners. Read more at YouthTech

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Innovations in Mobile Money – bKash

Remember the days when you had to go to the bank to transfer money or deposit a check? All the hassle of getting in your car, driving to the bank, waiting in line and filling out forms now seems like an antiquated routine. Now imagine the closest bank being 50 kilometers away and your transportation an overcrowded and unsafe bus, prone to onboard theft and unreliability. Chances are you wouldn’t keep your money in the bank, despite the security and perks it may offer—you’d rather take the risk of stashing your cash at home.

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