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Who Can Solve The Financial Inclusion Problem?

The World Bank estimates that 2.5 billion working-age adults, globally, have no access to the types of formal financial services delivered by regulated financial institutions.

No access – period - never mind any choice about which service providers are best suited to help with their financial services needs.

The reasons for this lack of inclusion in a system that those of you reading find second nature are all too familiar – a lack of physical bank infrastructure which requires a person in a village to travel an entire day on foot just to reach a bank branch, the high cost of having an account once they get there and documentation requirements imposed to even open one are among the many reasons that so many remain outside of the formal banking system. Layer on top of that a regulatory environment that makes launching alternative services costly and time consuming for solutions providers wishing to fill the gap, and you have a situation in which many more initiatives fail to reach any significant scale than get off the ground. And all that is despite the overwhelming need for a viable solution for these disadvantaged consumers to do basic financial and money management activities – receive money, send money, pay bills and manage cash flows effectively.

The mobile device has the potential to change all of this.

In just two short years, 69 percent of the entire world’s population will own a mobile phone. And that puts a very important tool in the hands of the underserved that has the potential to change the game for them as well as the solutions providers who wish to enable financial services access for them.

And that’s where The PYMNTS.com Financial Inclusion TrackerTM, powered by Mozido, comes in.

It is designed to provide governments, financial institutions, telecoms, retailers, and others interested in understanding the financial inclusion landscape, an organizing framework for evaluating the many players that provide digital financial inclusion services to underbanked and unbanked populations around the world.

We have segmented solution components into the 5 broad tranches that we represent essential elements of financial inclusion. We’ve evaluated, to start, 50 service providers and assessed the extent to which they are delivering on these elements, taking into consideration their depth of focus and the geographies they serve. Each service provider that ranges from a low of 17 to a high of 89 (out of 100). The median score is a 64 – which suggest that overall, we have a long way to go. And we have provided an overview of the 10 top scorers so that readers can better understand what they are doing to go above and beyond as well as key findings and important insights in better understanding who’s doing what and where we find success and – to use our word – the ignition that has seemed so elusive in this area of financial services.

We have also included highlights of recent financial inclusion news and studies to keep you on top of new product launches, partnerships, legislation, and growth of markets around the world.

We hope you like it and welcome your feedback – we’ll be doing this each month. Don’t hesitate to tell us what you liked, who we’re missing (we will be adding 20 each month) and how we can make this report better by emailing us at financialinclusion@pymnts.com.

Happy Reading,

Karen Webster

CEO PYMNTS.com

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WATCH LIVE: HOW WE SHOP – TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2020 – 12:00 PM (ET)

New forms of alternative credit and point-of-sale (POS) lending options like ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) leverage the growing influence of payments choice on customer loyalty. Nearly 60 percent of consumers say such digital options now influence where and how they shop—especially touchless payments and robust, well-crafted ecommerce checkouts—so, merchants have a clear mandate: understand what has changed and adjust accordingly. Join PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster together with PayPal’s Greg Lisiewski, BigCommerce’s Mark Rosales, and Adore Me’s Camille Kress as they spotlight key findings from the new PYMNTS-PayPal study, “How We Shop” and map out faster, better pathways to a stronger recovery.

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