There’s another $380 billion in market opportunity just waiting to be claimed by banks if they are willing to set their sights on micro-enterprises and on bringing financial inclusion to the unbanked and underbanked.
That’s among the key findings of a recent joint report from Accenture and CARE International UK. In the report, titled “Within Reach,” which recommends a few strategies to promote financial inclusion, one projection stood out. According to a release detailing some findings, simply closing the small business credit gap at average lending spreads would bring in $270 billion. Actuallly brining unbanked adults into the dedicated financial system could garner another $110 billion.
[bctt tweet=”Despite that opportunity for top line growth, the focus now may seem to be everywhere but inclusion.”]
Despite that opportunity for top line growth, the focus now may seem to be everywhere but inclusion. Among the 30 banks that were profiled, 77 percent said they were focused on near-term bottom line impact — only 23 percent of the banks said they had counted financial inclusion among larger corporate goals.
A key recommendation in the report was expanding adoption of digital technologies, with an eye on POS and other devices. Firms should also be willing to work with alternative lenders. In one example, Commercial Bank of Africa joined with Safaricom to unveil its M-Shwari mobile banking platform. The systems here have been automated enough to alleviate some security concerns. And, noted the research, because Commercial Bank of Africa can link with Safaricom’s database, there’s no need to conduct additional security checks during transactions.
The research also recommends that there be partnerships with players in the development sector, including NGOs. At the same time, said the study, firms must “provide access to … mobile wallets” and other technologies that could be helpful when dealing with areas that are remote.