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Financial Products and SDG 8

November 03, 2017 - By Kelly Diggins

SDG 8, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, calls for Decent Work and Economic Growth. The success of this goal is dependent on the expansion of banking and financial services for all. This was a focus at the social capital conference SOCAP this year, with several participants emphasizing the importance of reaching the underbanked and mobilizing investments for refugees. Fintech (financial technology) products aim to produce technology that meets customers’ needs while leveraging the already existing infrastructure to bring down costs. Based on information and experiences shared by fintech experts at SOCAP, here are three recommendations for serving the fintech consumer base.

  1. Build trust

Trust is an essential component for a thriving fintech system. Consumers need to trust that their money will continue to hold value and be an accepted form of payment for transactions. But to maintain this level of stability, consumers must place their trust in the institution, not the money itself. Rohit Bhatia, founder & CEO of PayLatr advised that when designing financial products, it is extremely important for the product to function reliably so that it is more likely the user will return and use the product again. Bhatia shared further that institutions can build trust with consumers by developing products that create innovative solutions to the problems they are facing.

  1. Utilize user centric design

When designing financial products, it is important to reflect on what the customers care about and what they are trying to achieve. Christopher Sheehan, co-founder and CEO of WorldCover, underscored that it is important for the product to speak for itself so that it: 1) aligns with what the customer is already doing; 2) helps build trust; and 3) promotes financial literacy. By keeping the final product in mind, the customers will recognize the added value of the financial service.

  1. Create innovative solutions to break down barriers

Common barriers to financial inclusion include high transaction costs and companies’ lack of information on their target customers. These barriers are exacerbated when working with refugee and migrant populations. When people are displaced and relocating, they often are forced to carry cash with them because not all banks allow for access to the funds when in another country. Another common barrier is the lack of required identification. The credit access company Nova is a notable example of successful fintech strategy producing innovative solutions for excluded populations. Established in 2015 to address the lack of transferable credit history, its mission is to solve the problem of credit access to immigrants as a cross-border credit reporting agency. By creating solutions to break down barriers, such as Nova has, we will be able to serve more unbanked, refugee, and migrant populations to better their economic growth and development.


Written by Kelly Diggins of the RPA Global Team.

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