CYFI facilitates Product Development Workshop in Madagascar

CYFI's Managing Director, Wessel Van Kampen, and Regional Coordinator for Africa, Anne Reynaud, recently visited Madagascar to meet with various key national stakeholders in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo.

As part of this, CYFI facilitated a product development workshop, co-organized and co-hosted with our local partners the Coordination Nationale de la Finance Inclusive.

More than 50 participants attended the Product Development Workshop, which focused on discussing the creation of a SchoolBank pilot and the adoption of the concept to align to the local circumstances. Participants shared their views and ideas on the best strategy to successfully implement a SchoolBank in Madagascar starting the new school year.

One of the goals of the workshop was to emphasize the importance of Financial Products adapted to Children and Youth. The workshop aimed at underlining the importance of having both Financial Education and Financial Inclusion. The workshop presentation pointed out the positive outcomes for a country population to have financial education and financial inclusion such as better academic achievement for example. The importance of a good consumer protection framework to develop financial inclusion and education was also stressed during the workshop presentation.

The workshop also highlighted the fact that the financial inclusion of children and youth represents a great opportunity for financial service providers. The goal of the workshop presentation was also to highlight that children and youth represent an opportunity for financial service because children are easy to reach and use low cost self-serve channels for example.

The main outcome of the workshop was the implementation of the SchoolBank program in Madagascar. SchoolBank aims to increase financial inclusion of children and young people through the school system. Through an innovative multi-stakeholder approach, the goal is to create systems change by providing children and youth with a Child & Youth Friendly bank account that they can use to save money, while at the same time imparting the appropriate education to teach them why and how to save and what their economic rights are.

The workshop in Madagascar brought together all national key stakeholders essential for a successful implementation of the SchoolBank program. All participants of the workshop expressed their willingness to collaborate to implement the program. All local financial service providers already have financial products adapted to children and youth. Next steps will build upon the various existing contacts between local banks and schools in the capital of Antananarivo, but will also expand to the more rural Southern part of the country.

The Coordination Nationale de la Finance Inclusive is also currently working on the draft of a National Strategy of Financial Inclusion with a strong emphasis on Children and Youth and are leading the organisation of GMW in Madagascar since 2016.

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National Bank of Georgia Hosts CYFI Child & Youth Friendly Product Development Workshop

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) hosted Child and Youth- friendly Product Development Workshop in Tbilisi on 13 and 14 of July 2017. The workshop was facilitated by experts from Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), and was part of the broader NBG-CYFI cooperation on promotion of financial education and savings culture for children and youth in Georgia.

Governor of the National Bank of Georgia Koba Gvenetadze opened the workshop and encouraged commercial banks to invest in developing financial capabilities of children and youth. During the workshop participants from 7 commercial banks in Georgia discussed the importance of the youth financial literacy and financial inclusion, product design, needs and wants of the young generation, as well as the business case for developing child and youth-friendly banking products. CYFI experts shared international experience and best practices in the field, while NBG specialists discussed the regulatory framework, consumer protection principles and NBG's planned activities in the direction of financial education for children and youth. CYFI partner, Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) also shared with the participants the German experience in developing financial products for children and youth. The workshop was also attended by the representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, who stressed the importance of financial education at schools and perspectives on integration of financial education into the school curriculum, and discussed the Ministry's cooperation framework with NBG.

Children and youth are one of the main priority target groups within the frames of the National Strategy for Financial Education that Georgia adopted in 2016. As part of these efforts, NBG and CYFI have been working on implementing the SchoolBank project in Georgia since 2015. The project aims to provide school children with financial education classes, as well as the real opportunity to practice savings and easy transactions by providing them with safe banking products, such as depositing small savings on the bank account or paying for lunches with a debit card.

"In today's world, the young generations have to make important financial decisions at increasingly earlier stages of their lives. For this purpose, children and youth not only need theoretical financial knowledge, but also the ability to apply financial literacy to practical situations. Thus, it is crucial for the young generation to have access to appropriate financial products and services, in order to develop healthy financial attitudes, save money, set financial goals, and expand their opportunities. In this process, it is imperative to protect children's rights and interests. In a long-term perspective, these initiatives will help the youth become economically active and financially responsible citizens, reinforcing their financial well-being" - stated Koba Gvenetadze, Governor of the National Bank of Georgia during the opening ceremony of the event.

July 12th marked another milestone in the advancement of the SchoolBank project in Georgia. National Bank of Georgia and National Youth and Children Palace of Georgia (NYCP) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on implementation of 15-hour SchoolBank educational programme as an extra-curriculum class for secondary school students in Tbilisi, that was developed by CYFI and Aflatoun, and further adapted by NBG in 2016. CYFI supported NYCP with its financial education programme since 2015, and supported teacher trainings of NBG, NYCP and Ministry of Education staff. NBG and CYFI signed an MoU covering these areas of cooperation earlier this year.

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CYFI holds Product Development Workshops in Chile and Peru

​ Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) recently hosted two Product Development Workshops with Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP) in Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile. 

The purpose of the workshops was two-fold; CYFI and IEP intended to bring together the dominant organizations in the financial inclusion and education sectors in both countries to talk about the achievements in the field so far and look ahead at the progress still to be made. In addition to this, workshops focused on on the development of child and youth friendly banking products in both countries. 

As part of the worshops, multiple banks and other financial institutions looked at the opportunities and challenges to increase financial inclusion rates and financial capabilities of young people by discussing regulatory frameworks, financial education material, need and wants of children and youth, and marketing of banking products. These discussions were fueled by presentations from CYFI, IEP and various expert speakers from the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Banco Caja Social from Colombia and ADOPEM from the Dominican Republic. 

One of the principle outcomes of both events is commitment to the dedicated effort of improving existing and developing new banking products for children and youth and the implementation of SchoolBank in Chile and Peru.

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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) collaborated 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, took 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, joined the celebration.

Linking with the important issue of providing child and youth-friendly services, Queen Máxima received 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 included 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 focused on key themes such as saving and borrowing, digital payments, tools for entrepreneurs, and social and financial education.

In the afternoon, international stakeholders, including representatives of central bank and corporations joined a round table discussion on "Digital Finance and Consumer Protection Implications for Youth (digital natives)." Panelists discussed 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.

Created by the founder of ParentPay, Clint Wilson, nimbl was launched to address these concerns by encouraging financial awareness and independence amongst young people.

nimbl allows 8-18 year olds to keep track of how much they have spent and where, on their prepaid, contactless MasterCard® debit card.

With the nimbl app, parents have their own account that manages and controls their child’s nimbl card with notifications and alerts to allow them to track their child’s spending in real time. They can make one-off transfers to their child’s account or choose regular weekly or monthly pocket money or allowances, set up weekly or monthly spending limits and view online statements to help guide their child’s financial decisions.

Using the web and mobile app, the child can keep track of money coming in, what they’ve spent, and how much they’ve saved. Friends and family can also be involved in the child’s financial journey and send money easily via a secure gift link.

nimbl aims to create carefully controlled conditions that help young people to understand the value of money and enable them to grow up as financially responsible adults.

Supporting the financial inclusion of young people

nimbl is part of a working group, collaborating with CYFI, MasterCard® and a range of other partners, seeking to make financial products safer for young people. The working group is developing a set of principles to guide the development of financial products and services by the private sector.

Paving the way for the future of child and youth-friendly e-banking, nimbl is an excellent example of how fintech can educate and include young people safely and securely. Whilst still under the protection of their parents, children are empowered and gain financial confidence for the future.

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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:

  • promoting youth entrepreneurship and tackle youth unemployment,
  • supporting innovative solutions,
  • enhancing access to finance for youth,
  • collecting data and developing impact indicators for youth.

Turkey will work on youth related issues by emphasizing the importance of investing in the next generation. The G20 is committed to removing barriers for youth in access to finance, to promote financial literacy for youth, to encourage personal financial responsibility and, most importantly, to develop policies to foster youth entrepreneurship.

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), as an Affiliated Partner of the GPFI, will contribute in shaping the Youth focus as a crosscutting theme among the GPFI financial inclusion agenda.

CYFI, on behalf of the Child and Youth Finance Movement enthusiastically welcome these advancements toward a more inclusive financial climate for youth and thank the Turkish Presidency for making this possible.

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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.

During a variety of workshops and plenary sessions it was concluded that a great deal of innovation and action is needed to create an economically active and responsible youth population by addressing the various barriers to youth financial inclusion in Africa. The development and prosperity throughout Africa must be framed around the large, and very dynamic, youth population. The growing youth population is a unique resource for several African countries; youth must be given the attention they deserve as they are essential for social and economic stability and growth.

Integrated African Policy for Child and Youth Financial Inclusion

At the close of the meeting a policy paper pledging for an integrated African Policy for Child and Youth Financial Inclusion to be part of Agenda 2063 was announced. This policy paper details the recommendations needed for “a global strategy to optimize use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans” for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

African leaders must develop and pursue national financial programs and strategies for children and youth with the objectives of ensuring that every child and youth in Africa has access to safe financial services, quality Economic Citizenship Education, and the opportunity to attain a sustainable livelihood.

Providing young people with financial services, which include an educational component, enhances a young person’s ability to make their own economic decisions and escape the cycle of poverty. Such access to appropriate financial services allows young people in increase their awareness of their social and economic rights and their ability to build assets and invest in their own future.

CYFI 3rd Annual Regional Meeting for Africa Key Recommendations

Outlined below are the 4 main recommendations highlighted throughout the meeting. Please read the Recommendations and Action Points document for a full overview of the concrete and necessary action plans that African policymakers should lead and implement at national level while engaging the various stakeholders and practitioners, and, of course, children and youth.

By focusing on and taking the necessary steps to turn these recommendations into a reality, the region at large will benefit from such interventions, as a new generation of financially capable young people grows up to be responsible economic citizens.

Key Recommendations for every African State/Country

  1. To celebrate nationally and integrate Global Money Week in the public national activities’ calendar
  2. Global Money Week (GMW) is a worldwide celebration intended to empower the next generation of financial actors to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens. During this week various worldwide activities will be held to engage children, youth and their communities to learn about how to save, gaining employment, and creating livelihoods.

    The participation of each African country brings the world one step closer to ensuring that every child will have access to financial services, basic financial awareness, a reliable source of income and the will to save. In order for children and youth to have a safe tomorrow, they should begin to save today.

  3. To integrate Economic Citizenship Education into the national curricula starting from primary school; and non-formal economic citizenship education should be provided for out-of-school children and youth
  4. In the CYFI Global Youth Survey, nearly 85% of respondents felt Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) should be learned in school. This profound percentage should be taken forward to ensure that ECE is taken on in national curricula, and is not left as a “family item”. Children and youth must be given a standard learning format to ensure that they are provided with all of the necessary ECE knowledge to make wise financial decisions and act as economic citizens.

    Furthermore, empowering all children and youth, both in and out-of-school, must also be a priority for national policymakers. According to UNESCO in 2010, sub-Saharan Africa was the second region counting the highest number of out-of-school lower secondary school children (22 million). Research has shown that depriving children of opportunities at a young age, such as education, have been associated with a well-catalogued variety of negative outcomes, including social and mental well-being. Financial inclusion towards social and individual empowerment, need to be inclusive and be devoted to all children and youth.

  5. To ensure that all children and youth, starting from primary school, have access to appropriate child and youth-friendly banking products and services such as savings accounts.
  6. Africa has the lowest saving-account penetration rate for youth in the world, equal to 12% Cultural barriers, legal restrictions, inadequate child and youth friendly financial services, long distance to access points, low education, unemployment, high transaction costs and negative stereotypes about youth are among the main challenges for youth being financially included in Africa. Legal and regulatory barriers create also significant obstacles for the youth to access to financial services suiting their needs. Such barriers impact the prosperity of policies and practices for the economic and financial empowerment of young Africans.

  7. To support young entrepreneurs in Africa by providing connections, education and access to financial resources for developing their enterprises.
  8. Various research and studies have shown that unemployed persons – particularly young persons – are unhappier, more likely to experience a range of health issues, and face difficulties in integrating back into the labor market place . While the youth unemployment rate in Africa hovers around 20%, data collected from the 2014 CYFI Global Youth Survey points out that Africa is undoubtedly the leading region for numbers of young entrepreneurs.

    The promotion of youth entrepreneurship simultaneously supports the creation of job opportunities, economic growth and development within local, regional and global communities.

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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”

Friday, 27 June 2014

15:00-16:00 CET

Webinar link

Partners Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) and the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) invite you to join us for an exciting webinar with presentations of pioneering savings banks building financial capabilities of children and youth.

Banco Caja Social (Colombia) and MicroBank (Spain) will present the ways in which they are supporting financial inclusion of young people while building their financial capabilities. BCS, partner of the YouthSave consortium, offers savings accounts to children in combination with elements of financial education. MicroBank partners with a large number of local social sector and municipal institutions to build young people’s financial and entrepreneurship capabilities before providing them with loans or financing for their ventures.

Both cases provide interesting models on how financial institutions can shape their interaction with, and responsibility towards a new generation of customers, and how a multi-stakeholder approach can provide added value to all parties involved.

Join us on June 25 at 3pm CET to hear their experiences first-hand and to get practical advice for your own organization, partner-program, or community.

Don’t miss it!

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




Youth to Lead the World to an Inclusive Future

Ensuring youth financial and social inclusion in the Post-2015 Agenda

Amsterdam, the NetherlandsChild and Youth Finance International (CYFI) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) are co-hosting a High-level Stakeholder’s Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on May 23, 2014. Preceding the meeting is a CYFI International Youth Meeting and the 2014 CYFI Awards’ Dinner on May 21-22, and 23 May, 2014, respectively.

Letting the Youth Lead: Youth to Present Youth Meeting Outcomes to Policy Makers

On the 21-22 May children and youth who are actively involved in the Child and Youth Finance Movement, will be attending CYFI’s Youth Meeting. The children and youth will take part in fun and interactive activities workshops where they will further their knowledge on finance, Economic Citizenship and entrepreneurship. The young people will also discuss how their financial and social wellbeing can and should be included in the UN’s Post-2015 Agenda.

Youth representatives will present the outcomes of this meeting to policy makers at A Chance for Change: Children and Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda – a High-level Stakeholder Meeting on the 23 May, 2014, co-hosted by UNCDF and CYFI at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Ms. Amina Mohammed, the Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning; Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth; and Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, President’s Special Envoy, World Bank, are three of the high-level representatives who will be speaking, along with the youth, at the meeting.

A Chance for Change: Child and Youth Finance in the Post-2015 Agenda

The meeting, titled A Chance for Change: Child and Youth Finance in the Post-2015 Agenda, provides a platform for children and youth to present their ideas for the Post-2015 agenda – these ideas will then be taken forward during the country-level deliberations. It will be attended by high-level representatives from institutions such as Permanent Representatives to the UN, financial authorities, Ministries of Finance, Youth and Education, financial institutions (global and local); multilateral agencies; NGOs and, of course, youth. The main purpose of the meeting will be to ensure that youth financial andsocial inclusion becomes a topic within the development agenda and to ensure that every young person emerging into adulthood has a dignified livelihood either through employment orentrepreneurship.

CYFI and the UNCDF proudly announce the following speakers for the meeting:

  • Ms. Amina Mohammed, the Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning
  • Ms. Marta Santos Pais, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence against Children
  • H.E. Ms. Simona-Mirela Miculescu, the Ambassador of the Romanian Permanent Mission to the United Nations
  • Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth
  • Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, President’s Special Enjoy, World Bank
  • Ms. Kim Bolduc, UNCDF Executive Secretary ad interim
  • Hon. Major (Rtd) Jessica R. E. Alupo, Minister of Education and Sports, Ministry of Education and Sports of Uganda
  • Dr. Muhammad Baasiri, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Lebanon
  • Dr. Mona El Baradei, Executive Director, Egyptian Banking Institute – Central Bank of Egypt
  • Mrs. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL)
  • Mr. Luiz Edson Feltrim, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Brazil
  • Mr. Ardian Fullani, Governor, Central Bank of Albania
  • Dr. Michael Gondwe, Governor, Bank of Zambia
  • Mr. Gilmore Hoefdraad, Governor, Central Bank of Suriname

Awarding Innovation, Commitment and Entrepreneurship

On the evening of May 22, 2014, CYFI will host the 2014 CYFI Awards at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel. At this annual awards ceremony CYFI recognizes and honors individuals, organizations, and government agencies that demonstrate innovation and commitment to promoting financial inclusion and financial, social and livelihoods education for children and youth at the national, regional and international level.

Thompson Reuters’ Personal Finance Editor Lauren Young will be the anchor for the evening. Special addresses will be made from Ms Annemiek Hoogenboom, Founder and Director UK’s People Post Code Lottery; and, Silvia Singer Director of the Interactive Museum of Economy, Mexico.

The CYFI Award categories are: CYFI Pioneer Award, CYFI Country Award and CYFI “Global Money Week” Award. CYFI will award the achievements of young people in the following categories: Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion- the Youth Financial Landscape and DreamsBank Campaign.

Social Media

Event Hashtags:

#CYFI2014 | #UNforYouth | #ChanceforChange | #DreamsBank2014

Other related hashtags:

#MDG | #finlit |#entrepreneurship |#youth | #awards | #GMW2014 | #celebrate |#jointhefun

About Child and Youth Finance International

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) aims to develop a generation that will be able to prevent future financial crises by increasing the financial education, financial access, employability, and entrepreneurship skills of children and youth.

Launched in April 2012, the Child and Youth Finance Network has already expanded to 125 countries and reached more than 18 million children. Our international and regional events result in policy changes, and are the only events in the world where children contribute to setting the global agenda.




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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.

Join us on Thursday, March 20 at 2:00 - 3:00 PM CET, as Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) will be co-hosting with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Union des Coopecs Umutanguha (UCU), a free webinar to discuss the business case for Financial Services Providers (FSPs) offering financial products or services for children and youth.

Together with Ms. María Perdomo, Youth Start Programme Manager for UNCDF, and Mr. Jules Théoneste Ndahayo from UCU, we will be reviewing UNCDF’s latest publication: “Building the business case for youth services: Insights of the YouthStart Programm”. This paper aims to take the first steps in demonstrating that youth are a viable market and focuses on the business case for serving youth if FSPs follow three pathways to profitability of youth services: i)Optimizing expenses; ii) Increasing savings volume; and iii) Increasing return from youth.

Registration Details

Topic: Building the business case for youth services

Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014

Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM CET

Registration: Click here to login

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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.

In a presentation and conversation, the webinar will discuss the guiding principles for responsible financial products for children and youth; why to invest in these segments; some key relevant features of these segments; what makes a good child and youth friendly product proposition, and considerations regarding the product development process.

CYFI and MasterCard will present highlights from the Guide and examples of banking and payments products from across the globe.

CYFI and MasterCard invite anyone who is interested to join the free webinar! MasterCard and Child & Youth Finance International announced a global strategic partnership in January 2014 aimed at improving the financial inclusion of children and youth. This Guide is a first outcome of this partnership.

This webinar is part of Global Money Week (GMW), the annual global awareness week (10-17 March 2014) organized by CYFI and its partners and stakeholders. GMW creates awareness with children, youth, parents, and teachers around economic citizenship education and financial inclusion for children and youth.

Registration Details

Topic: Presentation of CYFI/MasterCard Guide on Child and Youth Friendly Product Development

Date: Monday, March 17, 2014

Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM CET

Registration: Click here to login

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Efforts to Advance Financial Inclusion of Children and Youth Get Boost

Press Release

Efforts to Advance Financial Inclusion of Children and Youth Get Boost

MasterCard and Child & Youth Finance International Announce Strategic Partnership

To tweet this news, copy and paste to your Twitter handle with the hashtag #FinancialInclusion

PURCHASE / AMSTERDAM – January 21, 2014MasterCard (NYSE: MA) and Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) today announced a global strategic partnership aimed at advancing financial capabilities of children and youth.

Of the 2.2 billion children1 in the world less than 1 percent2 has access to any form of financial education, often exposing them to potential exploitation. MasterCard and CYFI share the belief that enabling financial inclusion and education is critical for promoting the economic and social livelihood of children and youth around the globe.

As one of their first actions, MasterCard and CYFI have joined forces to develop guidelines for responsible financial products for children and youth. These guidelines build on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles adopted by UNICEF and are meant to provide practical orientation for banks that want to serve a younger demographic. The guide will be published this spring and made available to financial institutions, NGOs and government entities.

Comments Ajay Banga, MasterCard President and CEO: “We share CYFI’s vision that every child and youth has a right to safe, accessible financial services and are honored to bring our expertise and experience to this partnership, empowering the young generation to grow into productive economic citizens.”

Jeroo Billimoria, CYFI Managing Director, states: “Roughly half of the world’s population is under the age of 25 – and it takes a broad effort to building up their financial capabilities. We are delighted that MasterCard, a trail-blazer for financial inclusion, is supporting us in our goal to reach 100 million children and youth in 100 countries by 2015.”

Apart from raising general awareness for the specific needs of children and youth, MasterCard and CYFI will partner to define and execute concrete strategies that advance financial inclusion and education. Both MasterCard and CYFI acknowledge the key role that public-private-partnerships can play in furthering this goal and are committed to working together with businesses, governments and NGOs.

About Child & Youth Finance International

Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) is a non-profit organization established in July 2011 and based in Amsterdam. The organization focuses on increasing financial inclusion and education for children and youth, so that every child can graduate from primary school with financial education and a savings account they own and operate. The target for CYFI’s global movement, launched in April 2012, is to reach 100 million children in a hundred countries by 2015. Child and Youth Finance International has more than 1,000 stakeholders, and the movement has reached over 18,700,000 children around the world, through 140 programs. CYFI has built global knowledge and shares resources on best practices and industry research. More information about the organization is available at Follow us on Twitter @ChildFinance. Join us for Global Money Week 10-17 March, @GlobalMoneyWeek

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Media Contacts:

Bernhard Mors
MasterCard Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +1 914 325 9676

Robin Willing
Child and Youth Finance International
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +31 20 5203 900

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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

Schoolchildren in Colombia interviewed during Global Money Week

Schoolchildren in Colombia interviewed during Global Money Week

Children and youth suffer disproportionately the effects of extreme poverty, yet they are largely left out of the picture in microfinance. This is even more surprising given that they have the greatest potential to develop their financial capacity and become empowered and knowledgeable clients in only a few years time. They are today’s potential and will be tomorrow’s (micro-) entrepreneurs – or not.

In 2010, a staggering 400 million children and youth lived in extreme poverty, and a total 1 billion live in poverty. The effects of extreme poverty on children and youth are exponential: malnourishment and general poor health, in combination with further social and economic exclusion during their formative years, lead to high levels of illiteracy and school dropout rates which consequently cause poor physical and cognitive development. With no or extremely limited access to (formal) financial services, children and youth are not able to build assets or develop a savings/credit score that would increase their chances for later access to (micro)finance services. In later life, these factors severely affect their access to the job market, their ability to set up successful MSMEs, or their access to (micro) loans thereby compounding their chances of producing a successful livelihood. By failing to make relatively small investments in the younger generations, major opportunities are missed.

CYFI and the Campaign: a shared commitment and high-potential partnership

For these reasons, Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) is very excited about its fresh partnership with the Microcredit Summit Campaign (the Campaign), which we believe reflects a common commitment to change this state of affairs. Formally announced during the October 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit in Manila, Philippines, this Commitment holds great potential to reshape the future of microfinance and make it more inclusive to children and youth.

CYFI’s two Commitments to the Microcredit Summit Campaign’s Goal of helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty, thereby taking a major step towards the end of extreme poverty by 2030 are: :

  • Supporting the measurement of movement out of poverty by including the collection of client poverty measurement data from partners in our 2014 data collection process, and
  • Seeking to establish 25 action plans for youth inclusivity with national government partners by the end of 2014.

The Campaign has committed to the CYFI 2015 target of reaching 100 million children and youth in 100 countries through safe financial inclusion and financial education by:

  • Incorporating child and youth-inclusive indicators in the annually-collected Institutional Action Plan collected by the Campaign and to record and make that data available to CYFI
  • Collaborating with CYFI to develop partnerships linking both organizations’ overall goals
  • Working with CYFI to collaboratively develop conference and event agendas which incorporate overlapping areas of each organization’s respective agendas

CYFI leads the world’s foremost multi-stakeholder movement on Child and Youth Finance, bringing together government, the private (financial) sector, the social sector, and academia. The Movement’s key goals for 2015 are to give 100 million children and youth access to safe financial services and high quality financial education. Launched in 2011, CYFI has begun collaboration with governments and stakeholders in over 100 countries, and has already reached over 18 million children and youth. Despite its age, CYFI is and has been supported by the European Central Bank, UNICEF and UNCDF, the MasterCard Foundation, MasterCard WorldWide and VISA.

How can you get involved?

CYFI and the Campaign invite, and aim to work closely with, MFIs that would like to move forward their child and youth agenda and develop or scale appropriate financial inclusion programs for this segment. CYFI can support MFIs in their program development through expert support, multi-stakeholder scaling strategy and partnerships, and related knowledge exchange of good practice and lessons learned.

Global Money Week

CYFI and partners ring the NASDAQ opening bell in New York City. In the middle is CYFI Founder and Managing Director Ms. Jeroo Billimoria. To her left is Ms. Susan Davis (BRAC USA) and to her right Mr. Marc Bichler (UNCDF).

CYFI and the Campaign also invite all MFIs to participate in Global Money Week. Global Money Week is a money awareness event which will take place from 10-17 March 2014. During this week, worldwide activities will be held to engage children, youth and their communities to learn how money works, including saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment, and becoming an entrepreneur.  MFIs can get directly involved by organizing and participating in events in your local communities during #GMW2014. This can take numerous forms, for example:

  1. by directly organizing local GMW money-awareness and/or financial education activities at schools or in your communities;
  2. by initiating local fundraisers to support local schools, charities or financial education projects;
  3. by inviting school classes to company offices so that they can learn about money, careers, and business and entrepreneurship; and/or
  4. by organizing music or sports events with a financial education theme during GMW.

For more information about Global Money Week, please visit the project’s website at GMW also has a social media presence on Facebook (@GlobalMoneyWeek) and Twitter (@GlobalMoneyWeek).

CYFI looks forward to collaborating with the Campaign and all of its members to drive the global child and youth finance agenda and to reshape the future of microfinance!

For more information, please contact:

Bram Stoffele, Financial Inclusion Manager
Child & Youth Finance International
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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.

Other studies has shown that only 31.9% of youth in Europe between the ages of 15 – 25 hold an account at formal financial institutions. This means that almost two thirds of Europe’s youth are currently left out of the formal financial institution market.

As the financial services offered become increasingly complex, there is an even greater need to make sure that the people who will grow up to make the financial decisions, are educated and experienced enough to do so.

Coming up next week, 4-5 November, is the Second CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia. The meeting will take place at the European Central Bank and is a great opportunity to inspire and inform others of the great social and financial winnings attached to making sure that our next generation of adults are financially included and educated.

The recent financial crisis has shown us that the decisions made by the adults of today will affect the financial landscape of the future. It is our responsibility to make sure that our children, who will be the adults of tomorrow, are well prepared and educated to make sustainable and favorable decisions for themselves and their countries.

But how do we prepare them to make the ‘right’ decisions?

The Child and Youth Finance Movement promote two things to make this happen: education and inclusion. We need to make sure that young people have sufficient and proper education on financial matters. But the Child and Youth Finance Movement also believe that we need to make sure that the education is connected to inclusion, to create good habits at an early stage.

So what does it really mean, Financial Inclusion? It is about being included, not excluded. Being empowered. Having access. We need to make sure that our children and teens are a part of the financial services and system that will be the venue for some of the most important financial and life decisions they will ever make. We need to make sure that the habit of saving instead of lending, earning interest on savings instead of keeping your money at home, are things that will affect their lives and those of others in many ways.

This has been, and continues to be, one of our greatest challenges. Giving all children access to a bank savings account and safe financial services should be part of the fabric of our financial systems. Financial institutions should recognize this is their role in the financial system, their corporate social responsibility, and simply the right thing to do. Facing the issues of financial inclusion in Europe and Central Asia constitutes a challenge in itself.

Since the European and Central Asian region consists of such a diverse group of countries, there are specific challenges and opportunities within each country that needs to be approached in the local context. There is no ‘fix all’ solution that can be applied to all the countries of the region. Instead there is a need to move together as one, but keep the solutions and efforts on a local level to meet the local needs.

And this is what the Child & Youth Finance Movement is trying to do. Since we launched our Global Movement in 2012, we have already spread to 100 countries and reach 18 million children with financial inclusion and education. This great progress has been made possible through aligning the efforts of countries and organizations to work together toward the same goal: increase the economic citizenship and financial inclusion of children and youth all over the world.

The Child Finance Movement builds on the notion that by aligning and supporting the efforts being made by isolated actors we can achieve great change in a short amount of time.

One part of aligning these efforts is through our Regional Meetings were we bring together policymakers and leaders of the region with young people to discuss and take action for the future generation of their countries. With the current situation and all time high statistics in the European and Central Asian region, it seems as though this year’s meeting is as relevant as ever.

There is a need for nations to join together to build change within their local context, but also cross borders. In order to change the future of our youth we need to start working together. We need to start learning from each other, as well as support and inspire others to make changes that go beyond the actions themselves.

Like the rings that spread over the water, we can make great things happen if we only drop a stone big enough. It is our goal to make sure that every child and youngster in Europe and Central Asia are included, a part of, their own financial landscape and are educated to be so. Are your ready to help us pick up the stone and spread the rings?


Follow the Meeting via #CYFIEurope, and tune in for the live streamed closing speech by Mr. Mario Draghi, European Central Bank President.


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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.

Prior to the actual Summit, Child and Youth Finance had the opportunity to take part in the pre-Summit Ending Poverty Action Retreat, which brought together some of the most prominent practitioners and thought leaders in the field of microfinance, as well as leading organizations in other fields working to end poverty in different, but often related ways. CYFI was invited specifically to bring the child and youth perspective – a reflection of CYFI’s hard work over the last few years to put child and youth finance on related policy and action agendas on financial inclusion and poverty alleviation.

Reflecting on more than 20 years of microfinance, the Retreat participants emphasized the importance of bringing back the focus of microfinance on what it was originally designed for: ending extreme poverty. Some key recommendations coming forward from the Retreat which were presented at the final Summit day’s closing plenary were:

  1. A renewed focus on ending extreme poverty and related client demographic data collection, using the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI)
  2. An integral focus on vulnerable groups of clients, such as children and youth, the disabled, the elderly, and the LGBT community
  3. Integrated product offering, moving beyond credit only, including savings, insurance, pension, and non-financial services such as (financial) education and health services 
  4. Strengthened focus on partnership across sectors, focusing on ending extreme poverty

These and other recommendations were strenghtened in speeches by Nobel Peace Prize Awardee Prof. Yunus (Founder Grameen Bank) and Mr. John Hatch (Founder Finca USA).

A sign of the long-term commitment to including young people as an important part to the financial agenda, Child and Youth Finance International is invited to participate in the Summit of 2014 to share our progress and further inspire microfinance initiatives with child and youth as serious stakeholders. 

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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.

Read more at the Youth Tech Blog

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