Financial Inclusion Is a Journey
Blogs, ifgs2019, Trending Topics on 23rd March 2019
By Tom Eyre, CEO of LOQBOX
Financial exclusion means different things to different people. Exclusion and aspiration are often two sides of the same coin, we aspire to more because we are to some degree excluded from something we want. For some, a degree of exclusion is a trivial nuisance, but for many in society being financially excluded creates genuine hardship. As an industry, the Fintech world is grasping this challenge. Now, eradicating financial exclusion is recognised as a crucial component of economic growth.
In our opinion, there are three clear causes of financial exclusion. Opportunity, Capability and resilience. Or to be more precise, the lack of these three attributes creates exclusion.
- A lack of Opportunity makes life harder and more expensive.
- A lack of Capability makes life more confusing.
- A lack of Resilience makes life more stressful.
Ultimately it is these effects of exclusion that we are trying to address through the creation of financially inclusive products.
Currently, as we see it, there are two types of inclusive product design at play.
1) Passive. This applies to some existing financial products that were designed for other reasons – Payments, FX, Banking etc. Their product designs do help to improve opportunity, capability and/or resilience for the user. But financial inclusion is not their core business.
2) Pro-Active. Products and services specifically designed to bring users into the system and increase rates of financial inclusion. Our product LOQBOX is one of the very few Fintech products designed and built specifically to address these three effects. We only exist to strengthen these three attributes for our users. That is our product. We are fixated on reducing exclusion as the main target for our efforts and energy. In that dogged pursuit of inclusion through the eradication of exclusion, we have learned a thing or two.
One of our key learnings, and hopefully a key takeaway from this piece, is the need to conceptualise financial inclusion as a journey, not an endpoint. There is no single state of “financial inclusion nirvana”. By understanding that during each consumer’s financial lifetime ‘inclusion’ will be a constantly evolving target, we can begin to create journeys, not just products, that address opportunity, capability and resilience as inseparable but ever-changing drivers of inclusion.