“Financial inclusion” means individuals and small business owners can get access to useful and affordable financial services by responsible and ethical providers.
By its definition, financial inclusion should provide equality of opportunity for everyone in a given society. At Arro Money, we make our argument for the need for financial inclusion on the basis that ending economic injustice would have a significant positive effect.
That’s why our aim is to give unbanked and underbanked individuals better access to financial services.
Providing a full range of financial services at a reasonable cost with no discrimination and a low barrier to access is key to meeting this specification. Ideally governed by clear regulation and industry standards.
In developing countries, where there was a desperate need for these services, governments have stepped in to create safeguards and funded initiatives to understand and solve the problem.
For example, In India in 2005, the Government recognised their banking practices tended to exclude rather than attract a huge demographic of their native population. So, The Royal Bank of India pressured banks to make a basic “no-frills” banking account. Barriers to access such as minimum deposits were removed and within a year banks in India had opened over 1.5million accounts, with some states announcing almost 100% of their population banked and accounted for.
However, illiteracy, lack of legal structure and lack of branches in rural areas continue to be a roadblock to full inclusion. Like Arro Money in the UK, there are many start-ups operating in India and the continent of Africa to provide pay points and infrastructure where transactions have usually happened in cash.
In the UK there are presently 1.5 million people in the UK who lack access to basic financial services. These issues are made worse when you consider that bank branches are closing while 8 million UK residents would struggle to cope with bank accounts that operate without physical cash. This is particularly problematic in rural areas where internet service is poor, leading to these individuals paying a premium for basic services and being excluded from services that would save them money, such as online shopping.
Arro Money has teamed up with Inclusion Signpost to create a platform backed by Mastercard and GPS that will give inclusive financial firms a virtual ‘seal of approval’, while allowing consumers to find the best and fairest service to satisfy their needs.
Running alongside this, we are determined to provide a wealth of features to our digital money platform focussed entirely around financial inclusion to be rolled out throughout Q2 and Q3 of 2019.
Stay connected and up to date with our plans to fight financial inclusion by following us @arromoney on Twitter.