Articles & Special Issues Financial Capability

Financial Inclusion and Financial Access

Financial inclusion, the goal of financial access, broadly refers to the ability of all people in a society to access and be empowered to use safe, affordable, relevant, and convenient financial products and services for achieving their goals. Financial inclusion promotes household and societal financial well-being and requires access to an array of financial products and services such as savings accounts, credit cards, mortgage and small business loans, and small-dollar consumer loans. Despite the advantages, too many individuals and households lack financial inclusion and access by being unbanked, underbanked, and/or they are forced to use alternative financial services. Achieving financial inclusion will require participation from many different types of formal financial institutional actors, such as banks, credit unions, community development financial institutions, and national credit bureaus. Social work assists to build financial inclusion and access through practice innovations, research, and policy advocacy.

Citation

Birkenmaier, J., Despard, M., Friedline, T., & Huang, J. (2019, February). Financial inclusion and financial access. In C. Franklin et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Work. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.1331