Championing inclusiveness should not be considered a fleeting marketing trend or a campaign gimmick to resonate activists or Gen Z "do-gooders." Rather, inclusiveness must be transformed from a novel notion to an essential thread within a company's fiber.
According to a Pew Global study, from 2013 to 2015, mobile usage in emerging countries rose from 21% to 37%. This upward trend among developing communities not only illuminates greater access to communication and the exchange of ideas, but also greater awareness of products and solutions that can improve daily life.
But mobile accessibility does not necessarily mean greater access to banking and personal financial management. According to Payments Cards and Mobile, 40% of the world's adults do not have a bank account or an authorized non-bank service provider. However, emerging solutions are striving to find ways to combat disparaging financial management data.
Uulala is a blockchain-based company that has created a comprehensive digital platform to handle the needs of unbanked, underbanked and remittance-sending households. Its intention is to decentralize the financial services industry for the purpose of affordability and financial inclusion of this unbanked demographic. Not only can remittances be sent instantly and less expensive than services offered by Western Union or similar companies, but it is working on solving the issue of loading cash into the digital economy through its peer-to-peer network.
A common ailment of the underbanked demographic is gaining access to credit and financing because they do not possess a credit history as they pay for goods and services with cash. Uulala users build a credit profile on the app by using it responsibly; Uulala's microcredit ledger tracks all transactions like paying electric bills or car insurance. This allows them to create a credit profile and unlock microcredit offers inside the platform from local businesses as well as digital content providers. Users can also qualify for micro-financing on the platform at non-exploitative, transparent interest rates audited via smart contracts on the blockchain.
While the fintech industry, as a whole, is taking greater strides to develop solutions that make it possible for people in underserved areas to command greater agency over their own financial health and quality of life, technology development is just the first hurdle. FinTech companies must also find ways to connect with people who have never been supported by financial institutions. FinTech organization looking to bring financial inclusion solutions to new areas have a few things they can do:
Build Multilingual Programs - While more and more businesses are hiring bilingual employees to help better communicate with customers who speak another language, they have not built and integrated multilingual programs that will fully serve those customers wants and needs. Companies need to have more than simply someone there who can tell them about non-applicable programs in their own language.
Focus on Education - Delivering an intuitive mobile solution is a step in the right direction, but it does not solve the financial disparity program. By delivering educational programs, whether through in-person classes or mobile videos and courses, FinTech organizations have a chance to help individuals avoid predatory money scams and, not only take control of their finances, but even grow them. Without steeping financial solutions in education, organizations run the risk of building on shaky foundations.
Support Local Businesses - Working on 1:1 bases with individuals is crucial, but helping local entrepreneurs in communities better understand how to manage their venture's profits could create new job opportunities and economic growth in those areas. Bringing intuitive, scalable payment processing tools and business operations platforms will help local entrepreneurs better understand how to budget their businesses and, potentially, even invest in new initiatives to spark growth.
The push for financial inclusion through mobile tech resources is still relatively new. Global financial accessibility will not manifest over night. Luckily, thanks to a focus on mobile solutions, financial literacy, and decentralization, people in communities once ignored by financial institutions have a real shot at growing their personal financial health.