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Access to Formal Finance

Over two billion adults worldwide do not have access to a bank account. Savings Groups represent a promising pathway for financial inclusion in new and underserved markets. 

With total assets of about $1 billion, Savings Groups aggregate demand among a large number of low income clients. They are organized, disciplined and experienced in money management.  And they have identified needs that financial service providers can address.

Increasingly, groups want a safe place to store long-term savings and excess liquidity, especially when large sums accumulate towards the end of saving cycles; and new business models, partnerships and alternative delivery channels are improving the viability of delivering formal financial services to Savings Groups.

Over the last decade, there has been a proliferation of initiatives to expand access to formal financial services in underserved markets through Savings Groups. And in 2016, the State of Linkage Report identified 95 FSPs offering financial services to Savings Groups across 27 countries. The business opportunity for FSPs is to leverage the resources and established processes of Savings Groups to offer a suite of individual and group-based products in new and underserved markets. 

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