Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is partnering with the MetLife Foundation and Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA) to develop Optimizing Performance Through Improved Cross(X)-Sell (OPTIX), a program to provide micro-finance institutions and cooperatives with a breadth of financial tools that can assist them to better serve their clients.

Low-income households in the developing world face a triple-threat when managing their financial well-being. Their incomes are not only low but also irregular and unpredictable. Because of this, they need to manage their cash flows more actively than better-off households and require a broad array of financial tools.

Financial inclusion holds the promise of harnessing the power of the private sector and technology to help achieve social ends. It is both a business opportunity and a way to buffer inequality by bringing the reliability of low-cost, secure financial tools to people who have never had access to them.

The micro-finance institutions and cooperatives participating in OPTIX include: Cooperativa Acreimex in Mexico, Banco WWB in Colombia, SAJIDA Foundation in Bangladesh and Capital Aid Fund for Employment of the Poor (CEP) in Vietnam. OPTIX will assist these four “socially-driven” financial service providers build and strengthen a full suite of financial offerings for their low-income clients. Cross-selling a variety of financial products may ensure client retention, secure their niche against larger competitors and allow them to meet the particular needs of the market segments they serve.

For more on Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ financial inclusion work, read our guide, Financial Inclusion – Opportunities & Risks for Donors.