Some 1.7 billion adults are still unbanked in the world and women lag behind men in financial inclusion. To reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals like “No poverty” and “Gender Equality” by 2030 we need to provide everyone with access to accounts, payment services, investing and borrowing. Innovative fintech solutions can help us in this challenge as they are leapfrogging traditional finance. Thus, more and more people can have access to finance without ever needing a bank.
Dozens of national governments have adopted policies to expand financial inclusion in their countries. Fostering cooperation between different kinds of organizations will be vital for the progress. It was therefore energizing to see different kinds of organizations committed to advancing financial inclusion to gather in Oslo for the Financial Inclusion Summit on March 28. Among the participant were over 30 fintech companies, NGOs, governmental organizations and incumbent players like Mastercard. The Summit was arranged by Susanne Hannestad and her team in Fintech Mundi, which is an ecosystem dedicated to development of the next generation of financial services.
The Oslo Summit highlighted the role of the Nordic region in boosting innovation in finance. As an excellent example of cooperation between an NGO and a fintech Hiveonline and Care in Niger stood up of all cases that were presented in the summit.
New generation of financial services can help drive development in those countries where financial exclusion causes problems.