CYFI News & Blog

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

CYFI took part in FINFIN 2017 in Moscow in February 2017

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) took part in FINFIN 2017 Conference in Moscow, Russia on 16 February 2017. FINFIN is an annual international symposium, aiming to bring together financial institutions, governmental bodies, and expert community to exchange and share best practices and latest trends in the area of financial literacy and financial inclusion.

The Conference fosters an open dialog between market practitioners, government officials and researchers. It also provides an ideal environment to develop new initiatives that would ensure sustainable development of the industry, increase the availability and quality of financial services for the population, and promote financial literacy programs in order to improve the well-being of Russian citizens. 

The conference is traditionally organized by Russian Microfinance Centre and Citi Foundation, with the participation of representatives of the Bank of Russia and Ministry of Finance of Russian Federation, as well as international experts. The 2017 edition of FINFIN saw participation of many global stakeholders in the field, such as OECD, Central Bank of Portugal, UK Consumer Panel, CYFI and other representatives from CIS region and beyond. 

In 2017 CYFI contributed to the panel on the ways to improve financial literacy of Russian population, alongside the speakers from the Central Bank of Russia, Moscow State University, and various private sector initiatives. The wide consensus was reached that starting teaching children the basics of financial behaviour, such as saving, budgeting and spending, is essential from the first years of school. The role of the Ministry of Education in this process was defined as crucial by all participants of the panel. CYFI Regional Advisor Karina Avakyan shared the recent findings of financial education landscape for young people, emphasized the importance of active practicing of savings from the young age, and presented the recent publication by CYFI and World Savings Bank Institute (WSBI) on various Schoolbanking models.

On 15 February 2015 CYFI was also invited to take part in the informal roundtable, organized by the Russian Microfinance Centre (RMC) and Bank of Russia on the financial literacy programmes for SMMes and entrepreneurs, and their role in the overall financial literacy strategies and policies. CYFI representative shared some examples and best practices from CYFI network members and other countries in Europe.


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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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First phase of SchoolBank pilot conducted in Georgia


The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) and CYFI have collaboratited on promoting SchoolBank in Georgia since late 2015, when NBG presented the concept to all commercial banks in the country. Since then CYFI and NBG have developed a standard 14-hour financial education module, monitoring and evaluation system and conducted a teacher training on active learning methodologies. Currently NBG is working with educational authorities in Georgia to get SchoolBank module as an extra-curriculum class in Georgian schools.

The first commercial bank to join the SchoolBank pilot, with their own educational module as well as innovative financial product for children was Bank of Georgia. Bank of Georgia has launched a sCool card in September 2016. sCool Card is a socio-educational program for students, aimed to improve financial literacy of the younger generation and to instill financial culture among children.


Schooling on financial literacy

The Bank has developed a comprehensive training module - sCool Card Business School – the school of financial literacy. The module covers lots of information  from social, financial and essential livelihoods education. The training program includes 5-6 training courses on various topics, which are held in schools every two weeks. The University of Bank of Georgia developed the training program, together with child psychologists, and it was approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. Pilot trainings were held from October to December 2016 in 10 schools in the capital city, Tbilisi. Recently, at the end of January 2017, the first 175 graduates of the Business sCool Card were awarded certificates and souvenirs by the Bank.


Moreover, the Bank has distributed more than 100 000 debit sCool cards in Tbilisi, which also provide students with free public transportation. For 2017, the Bank is looking at further developing the educational module, strengthening the savings component of the programme, and expand the programme to other regions of the country.

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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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