By: 17 April 2023

One of the most exciting achievements of fintech is bringing technology and innovation together to serve underserved markets

IFGS 2023: Fintech doing sterling work in underserved markets

One of the most exciting achievements of fintech is bringing technology and innovation together to serve underserved markets, attendees of the Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS) 2023 heard today.

During a wide-ranging discussion on how fintech can fill market gaps, Louise Brett, vice chair at Deloitte UK, pointed to female financial equality.

Data from Deloitte shows that in the UK, women have 40% less saved for retirement then men and almost a third have some or all their financial agreements in their partner’s name.

Brett said more needs to be done and “there is an exciting opportunity here to make a difference, to make equality for females and this underserved market better”.

Tom Eyre, co-chief executive officer and co-founder of Loqbox, is on a mission to improve financial education.

Eyre said that financial education is currently carried out by “osmosis”, with most people expected to learn about the subject when encountering money. He argued, convincingly, that more financial education is needed.

He also said that a lot of fintechs like to automate their services. And while this is good, he argued that people first need to be educated.

Eyre compared the process to flying a plane. Before being allowed to fly passengers half-way around the world on autopilot, the pilot should first be trained in how to manually operate the plane themselves.

He concluded: “People need to understand how to manage their finances. This is an opportunity to serve the underserved market.”

Nicky Goulimis, co-founder and board director of Nova Credit, which provides credit data overseas and expands access to credit, talked about how its product can help migrants.

If a migrant moves to a new country, being unable to access credit brings many challenges, such as finding somewhere to live, getting a smartphone contract or applying for a student loan.

Goulimis said that providing access to reliable credit scores can be a driver of financial inclusion.

Many migrants demand high wages and generally aim to stay in the new country for many years, but with no credit history, it’s hard for them to secure credit.

There are more than 280m migrants worldwide, a number that is expected to grow to 405m by 2050. “This is an issue that can’t be ignored,” Goulimis said.

Nova Credit, which already operates in 25 countries, including Australia, the UK and Kenya, aims to expand to more countries in the future.

Finally, the speakers used India as an example of a country that has had some success with increasing financial inclusion.

India has introduced a digital ID, which has helped to boost the number for digitally banked customers, especially women.

Image: Canva

Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.