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JPMorgan Eyes Financial Inclusion In India

JPMorgan is setting up a financial inclusion lab in India through a partnership with the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s (IIMA) Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). According to FinTech Futures, the $9.5 million initiative will assist FinTech startups focused on helping lower and middle income people throughout India.

“India’s vision of creating digital technology-driven access to financial services will be incomplete unless we bring these offerings to the lower and middle income segments who are in urgent need of these financial products and services,” said Kalpana Morparia, CEO of South and Southeast Asia at JPMorgan. “Our initiative aims to identify and nurture FinTech startups to generate innovative ideas, which will help make financial products and services more accessible to this critical mass of Indians.”

The lab is part of IIMA-CIIE’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII), which launched in May to support startups that are developing financial technologies for India’s underserved communities in the areas of livelihoods, financial inclusion, health and education.

JPMorgan will provide up to $7 million toward the initiative over the next four years, which represents the biggest “philanthropic” commitment by the financial institution (FI) outside of the United States so far. In addition, the lab in India will be able to utilize information from the JPMorgan-funded Financial Solutions Lab, which launched in 2014 to support the development of FinTech solutions for underserved communities in the U.S.

The initiative will receive assistance from financial inclusion consulting firm MicroSave and the CIIE on where and how FinTech firms can help the nation’s lower and middle class segment.

Anil Gupta, associate director of MicroSave, said, “Over 80 percent of the addressable LMI market, or 470 million people, are not integrated into the economic mainstream. Early-stage [FinTech firms], when provided with the right mentoring, insights and capital support, can have a huge and positive impact on the lives of many people.”

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