The Minister of Finance, Luis Caputo, gave a speech at the Foromic Panel “Financial Inclusion and the Digital Revolution” together with Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer at Monetary Authority of Singapore. “Financial inclusion represents equal opportunities and there is no possibility of sustained growth over time without financial inclusion”, Caputo said.
At the event, the Finance Minister highlighted the role of financial inclusion in the integration of more and more citizens to the formal system and the measures to provide more opportunities to families and SMEs. “The Argentine Government has a State policy to expand financial inclusion throughout the country”, he added.
Regarding the initiatives promoted by the Government, Caputo highlighted the creation of the Financial Inclusion Council and he said it will “drive the policies implemented by different Ministries” and that “it will enable the delimitation of financial inclusion initiatives throughout the country”.
“Argentina has adopted high-impact measures such as the synchronization of payment methods and the effective use of the PIM, an electronic wallet launched by Banco Nacion”, Mr. Minister explained, making reference to the system which already has 333,000 users and 25,000 participating stores, according to the bank data. In addition, the Finance Minister highlighted the digitalization of payment methods and the development of more banking correspondents.
Likewise, Caputo insisted on the policies developed by the Central Bank such as free-of-charge savings accounts and the simplification of the requirements to open an account. In this sense, he said that currently, “approximately the 50% of Argentinians doesn’t have a bank account” and that “the use of debit cards is also low compared with other countries of the region”. For this reason, Mr. Minister explained that “those exclusions are part of our debt to society and they constitute an obstacle for an equitable and competitive growth”.
Finally, the Minister of Finance highlighted the work done to establish better financing conditions to extend credit to every sector, in particular to SMEs and entrepreneurs. This way, Caputo said that “through the capital market we want to generate better terms and rates for SMEs”.
Moreno said that “FOROMIN has always been focused on the development of financial systems that work for everybody” and that “now the countries are facing the common challenge of financial digitalization and how to regulate new actors such as Fintech”. Mohanty said that “financial inclusion must improve people’s lives” and he talked about the policies implemented in Singapore. “The digital national identity is an important asset for inclusion and thus, digital inclusion is essential”, he added.
FOROMIC is organized by the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) of the IDB Group, supported by the Ministry of Finance. It is the most important annual event on microfinance and entrepreneurship in the region. It is a space for business and financial innovations and, in particular, a platform for microfinance that has demonstrated that serving low-income households and small businesses is possible, sustainable and profitable.