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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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