The profound changes caused by COVID-19 continue to reverberate throughout the world, and many communities where FINCA works are struggling to adapt. Reliance on mobile banking has greatly increased during the pandemic, rising as much as 85 percent in the United States alone, and the need to encourage fintech inclusion by enhancing financial technologies in impoverished regions has never been more important.
Embracing the global trend of digitization, FINCA is enabling clients around the world to access financial products more conveniently and safely. Despite poor living conditions and challenges surrounding financial access, especially for women, many of FINCA’s clients have access to a smartphone or another device that is able to access the internet.
Digital Innovation Enabling COVID-Safe Options for Clients
By establishing the groundwork of digital innovation prior to the pandemic through pre-existing mobile banking initiatives, FINCA is able to help clients stay safe and comply with social distancing measures. This enables them to maintain the safety of their communities while conducting important and necessary transactions. In Haiti, for example, FINCA has been able to create a completely virtual branch, allowing prospective and current clients to access micro-loans and other critical services.
FINCA’s touch-tech model is another approach that focuses on financial innovation with a human-centric approach. By consistently implementing new digital solutions, clients are able to take advantage of the best tools available to them at the lowest possible cost.
Fintech as a Driving Force for Financial Inclusion
In the areas where FINCA operates, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), barriers to banking, including less than 35 kilometers of paved roads for every million inhabitants, severely restrict access to financial inclusion. This lack of physical infrastructure leads to a lack of access for broader economic activities and physical safety that contribute to overall wellness and clients’ ability to thrive.
By providing the option of agency banking and new digital capabilities, FINCA is spearheading the creation of innovative options for those who cannot afford to travel such distances to complete financial transactions. Creating accessible options allows FINCA to give back time to those who undertake long journeys to complete transactions with ease and get back to their lives. FINCA DRC agents are serving those within their own communities via Xpress agencies, which allow clients with difficulty accessing digital services to be able to complete transactions directly.
The Importance of Continuously Evolving
FINCA is constantly looking to expand digital support to clients in impoverished regions, as accelerating opportunities for financial freedom and independence remain top priorities. By increasing its focus on digital offerings, FINCA is able to drive forward its commitment to improving the lives of the people it serves.