Results tagged as "financial inclusion"

  • Citi FinTech Meetup Miami: How Financial Technology Can Drive Financial Inclusion

    By Marshall Sitten, Vice President, Communications, Citi Community Development, Jorge Ruiz, Business Development and Digital Banking Head, Citi Latin America April 21, 2015 10:00 AM

    Technology can play a vital role in bringing more people into the financial mainstream. While most may think that’s a greater demand in the developing world, some of America’s largest cities struggle with the financial isolation of huge groups of their populations.

    We see one of the starkest domestic examples in Miami.

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  • A Plan to Increase Financial Access with New Technology

    By Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Citi Microfinance October 01, 2014 02:17 PM

    Technology has increased access to education, healthcare, and instant communication. But it has yet to revolutionize access to financial services for low-income communities. Having adequate financial access not only impacts the economic potential of individuals, but also has an effect on the broader economy.
    Without access to appropriate tools and guidance, people face more difficulties when it comes to developing good credit, saving money, and building a secure financial future. Without such building blocks for economic growth, it is more challenging to buy a home, build a business, or send a child to college.

    This trend also allows costly and predatory alternative financial services, which target African Americans and Hispanics in particular, to thrive. That is why we need simple and responsible products that leverage technology to bring more people into the financial sector, and Citi Microfinance and Community Development are taking steps to change that.

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  • Ventanilla de Asesoria Financiera Offers Financial Inclusion to NYC's Mexican Immigrant Community

    By Eileen Auld, Citi Community Development Regional Director for the New York Tri-State area July 08, 2014 04:50 PM

    New York City's rapidly-growing Mexican population has gained a unique resource as it strives for financial stability and inclusion in the American economy. Earlier this year I joined the Consul General of Mexico in New York and a host of other dignitaries at the opening of a new one-stop financial services center known as a Ventanilla de Asesoria Financiera, or Financial Counseling Window.

    The new 'Ventanilla' offers New York's Mexican community the opportunity to access free financial services through a trusted partner in a safe and convenient place. Created through collaboration between the Mexican Consulate, Citi Community Development and the New York City Office of Financial Empowerment, the center has its own space at the consulate, 27 E. 39th St.

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  • Financial Access Solutions for Israel's Unbanked Population

    By Bob Annibale, Head of Citi Microfinance and Community Development May 22, 2014 02:52 PM

    I recently made a trip to Israel to participate and lead the effort to develop a roadmap for financial inclusion for the unbanked. Citi and the Milken Institute Israel Center held a Financial Innovations Lab® along with over 50 key policy makers, regulators, and community and industry representatives. Also present were Citi Israel seniors and leading US experts in this field. As a group, we shared with our Israeli counterparts and government officials a range of information on data collection, analysis, and policies relating to financially under-served and low income communities in the US, as well as regulatory and financial services models and experiences relevant to the discussions in Israel.

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  • OPIC and Citi Strengthen Partnership for Development Financing

    By Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO and President, OPIC April 28, 2014 01:51 PM

    Last month, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) Board of Directors approved two new framework agreements that further align our organization with Citi in sharing credit risk for development financing in overseas projects. OPIC has a history of successful partnerships with commercial lenders financing in emerging markets around the world. By putting OPIC's guarantee behind Citi's loans, borrowers in these markets will now have access to the financing they need to grow and contribute to local economies.

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  • Accion and Citi: Partnership in Building a Financially Inclusive World

    By Michael Schlein, President & CEO, Accion August 06, 2013 09:13 AM

    Many know that Citi has an extraordinary 200-year history that helped chart the course of modern financial services - but equally impactful is the nearly half-century commitment that Citi has demonstrated to expanding financial inclusion for some of the most vulnerable in our society - those living in poverty.

    Today, the Citi Foundation is the lead partner and founding sponsor of the Financial Inclusion 2020 initiative, an effort spearheaded by the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion. Using the year 2020 as a focal point for action, FI2020 aims to mobilize stakeholders around the world to work collaboratively towards full financial inclusion, which CFI defines as "a state in which everyone who can use them has access to a full suite of quality financial services, provided at affordable prices, in a convenient manner, with respect and dignity."

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  • Expanding Financial Inclusion: Microfinance & Carbon Credits

    By April Allderdice, CEO, MicroEnergy Credits April 30, 2013 04:18 PM

    Many of the world's poor lack not only financial resources but also adequate access to energy to power their homes and business places. The inefficient use of energy in under-served communities is also a contributor to climate change. But what if there were a way that lower-income communities could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also improving their financial and energy usage profiles?

    In Mongolia, many lower-income residents live in portable tent-like structures--called gers--that are traditionally under-insulated and heated by inefficient coal-burning stoves that contribute to the notorious air pollution in the country's urban centers. However, a simple household insulation product (a "ger blanket") can greatly increase heat retention and--together with more energy efficient stoves--lower the rate of costly fossil fuel consumption and harmful carbon emissions.

    The two issues are linked, since gers have to be paid for and the lack of financial resources slows their adoption. To help speed the widespread installation of more ger blankets while unlocking access to financial services for underserved Mongolians, Citi Microfinance worked with three partners: Citi's own London-based Environmental Products Trading & Origination team, the U.S.-based social enterprise MicroEnergy Credits, and Mongolia's XacBank.


  • Vote for Your Favorite Small Business Through the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards

    By Connie Evans, President and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity and Irena Shiba, Microfinance and Enterprise Development Program Officer at the Citi Foundation April 15, 2013 05:50 PM

    Think about it: If one out of every three U.S. microbusinesses - the small, local businesses that are intricately woven into the fabric of our communities and our economy - hired a single worker, the United States could achieve full employment at a time when the country needs it most.

    Small businesses play an important role in increasing financial inclusion by creating livelihoods and employment opportunities; however, launching one involves overcoming many challenges. But entrepreneurship can have a powerful impact. That is why it is critical to help microbusinesses access capital and business-support services so they can grow, hire and build up their communities.

    When Main Street USA is strong, so is America.

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  • Expanding Financial Inclusion: Technology

    By Jennifer Tescher, President & CEO, Center for Financial Services Innovation, and Brandee McHale, Chief Operating Officer, Citi Foundation April 11, 2013 12:27 PM

    The decreasing cost of cellphones has caused a rise in mobile phone usage among households at all income levels. As smartphone adoption increases in the United States and worldwide, more people are engaging in mobile activities beyond simply making phone calls - and that includes on-the-go money management.

    According to Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2013, a just-released report from the U.S. Federal Reserve, "the use of mobile financial services is particularly prevalent among the 10 percent of the population that is underbanked." The report also states that "among the 90 percent of underbanked consumers with mobile phones, 49 percent had used mobile banking in the 12 months preceding November 2012, up from 29 percent in December 2011." *

    These mobile trends point to opportunities for financial technology innovation to better educate and reach the unbanked and underbanked through mobile devices.

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  • Expanding Financial Inclusion: Housing

    By Jose Quinonez, Executive Director, Mission Asset Fund April 05, 2013 05:54 PM

    Twenty five million people in the United States have no credit score. Without a credit score, these individuals cannot get a loan to buy a car, start a business, or secure housing --all crucial to increasing a person's economic stability and the ability to contribute to his or her community. Housing is a basic need, which is why Citi continues to work with partners like Mission Asset Fund to make access to affordable housing a keep component of our shared efforts to broaden financial inclusion.

    MAF's core focus is helping the unbanked access loans and build credit scores by formalizing loans traditionally created among peer groups outside of the mainstream banking system. The idea is simple: groups of people create lending circles that allow each member to chip in and give one participant a lump-sum, zero-interest, zero-fee loan. To date, MAF has managed more than $1.5 million in loans over four years with a default rate close to zero.

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