Reaching the World’s Unbanked

This article was originally published by Stefan Grundmann and on Devex.

There is no shortage of theories on how to spur financial inclusion. With 1.7 billion people living without access to basic financial services such as small loans and savings accounts, efforts to reach the world’s unbanked have received significant, and merited, attention. But what we’ve discovered through our work on the ground in emerging markets is that increasing access to finance alone isn’t sufficient.

Globally, 1.1 billion people have no electricity and 4 million die each year because of household air pollution from inefficient fuels. Pair this with few opportunities to access loans and build credit, and unbanked communities are routinely prevented from making important investments in their family’s health and economic well-being.

Here, we see an opportunity. Moving forward, there is profound potential to deliver those services through mechanisms that will also increase financial inclusion. By leveraging innovative payment technologies, we can both ensure that necessities are affordable and extend crucial financial tools to the world’s unbanked.

Read the rest of the article on Devex.