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IDB Group Launches FINLAC, an Initiative to Promote Financial Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group today launched FINLAC at an event at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C., a new initiative to promote financial inclusion by ensuring that the most vulnerable people in Latin America and the Caribbean can access the financial services they need.

FINLAC, a joint effort by the IDB, IDB Invest and IDB Lab, serves as a one-stop shop for advancing financial inclusion, supporting governments, accompanying firms, and igniting innovation in developing and implementing effective policies, reforms and business practices to create inclusive financial markets in the region.

Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the world’s most underserved regions in financial services. About 27% of persons aged 15 and older are excluded from formal financial services, compared to 3% in high-income countries. Only three in 10 persons aged 15 and older have obtained a loan with a financial-sector entity in the last year, as opposed to three in five adults in high-income countries.

The initiative will prioritize understanding the barriers to financial inclusion faced by rural communities, indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, women, migrants, older adults, and micro and small businesses; promoting digital transformation to accelerate financial inclusion and resilience; enhancing payment ecosystems to facilitate fast retail transactions; and enabling responsible and consented financial consumer data sharing with third parties, known as open finance.

“With FINLAC, the IDB Group is very proud to put forward an institution-wide hub that can support both private- and public-sector stakeholders with their initiatives and projects to promote financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. FINLAC will generate policy-relevant knowledge and data; test innovative business models and private-sector solutions; and disseminate recommendations, best practices and evidence on policies and innovations to build more inclusive financial markets,” said Eric Parrado, chief economist and general manager of the Research Department at the IDB.

FINLAC’s website offers a unique data dashboard with comprehensive country-level data, organized in four areas: financial institutions, infrastructure, barriers to access and ownership of financial products. 

FINLAC is already engaged with both private- and public-sector partners, such as Amazon Web Services, Mastercard, Visa, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and CGAP, an independent think tank housed at the World Bank. Moreover, FINLAC collaborates closely with other stakeholders, including governments, financial institutions, fintechs, development agencies, multilateral organizations, academia and foundations. 

Digital payment ecosystems report

During the launch, the IDB Group unveiled a “Digital Payment Ecosystems in Latin America and the Caribbean” report (available in Spanish) that analyzes the state of payment systems in the region and identifies good practices and reform processes that may contribute to improvements in financial and digital inclusion. Developed in collaboration with Analistas Financieros Internacionales (AFI), the study includes report cards for 10 countries, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, México, Perú and the Dominican Republic.

The IDB, in collaboration with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), also launched today the Fully Scalable Settlement Engine (FuSSE) project, which will provide central banks with open-source technology to facilitate and enhance payment systems, and technical assistance to develop public policies and regulatory frameworks and strengthen institutional capacities, further supporting the IDB’s efforts to promote financial inclusion and well-being in the region.

To learn more about the initiative, visit the FINLAC website.

About the IDB Group

The Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group) is the main source of financing for sustainable and inclusive development in Latin America and the Caribbean. With offices in 26 countries of the region, it is focused on improving lives through financial solutions and knowledge that is both relevant and cutting-edge. The IDB Group comprises the IDB, IDB Invest and IDB Lab, which positively impact the region by working with governments, the private sector and innovative entrepreneurs, respectively. Take our virtual tour.




Molina Medina,Vanessa Carolina

Molina Medina,Vanessa Carolina
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The IDB Group's FINLAC promotes financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean through knowledge, investment, and public-private partnerships.

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