Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has spoken via video message at the 2019 Arise Conference about the importance of including Generation Z in financial inclusion initiatives. This is something, she believes, that must be addressed in a timely manner.
Her Majesty stressed that Generation Z’s “energy and creativity will be essential to reducing poverty, improving health, and promoting equality. It is vital that they receive the support and tools they need to make an impact.”
“We already know that financial exclusion is disproportionately high among young people. According to data from the Global Findex, 30 per cent of unbanked adults worldwide are between 15 and 24 years old,” she continued.
The Queen spoke of the importance of more creative ideas, suggesting that it should “start by tapping into new technologies, designing customer-centric products, and providing robust financial education.”
Focusing on Generation Z, Her Majesty said they “may provide fertile testing ground for some of the most innovative solutions aimed at expanding access and boosting usage—including those that don’t come from the banking industry, such as internet-based platforms and use of big data.”
“Globally, we have already seen the positive effect of technological innovations such as digital ID and use of big data for building credit histories. We are expecting many more changes that will shape the future of financial services such as blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and smart machines. For today’s emerging adults, who are the most tech-savvy generation yet, these advances have the potential to make financial services easier and more enticing to use.”
She concluded by expressing her firm belief that “today’s children and youth represent the future client base for financial institutions and the next generation of economic drivers for national governments.”
You can read her full speech here. The theme of the 2019 conference is “Innovative Financial Services for the Next Generation.”
Queen Máxima has been the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development since 2009. Former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed her in September of that year.