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Banking the Unbanked: How Technology Drives Financial Inclusion

  • Manasee Dash By

A third of the world’s population does not have a bank account. That’s 2.5 billion people!

“By 2030, 2 billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be storing money and making payments with their phones.” —Bill Gates in The Verge

Back in the 1990s, improving access to financial services meant opening brick-and-mortar branches in remote areas. Fast forward to today, and improving access can mean anything from enabling smartphone payments to financial coaches that help customers at their doorstep using just a laptop and a web browser.

[Related: Expert Predictions: IoT & Mobile Banking Trends]

To reach people without access to branch locations, financial institutions are beginning to invest in technology that enables “banking the unbanked.” For example, in Africa, The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is working towards improving financial inclusion using the agent-banking model. The bank’s goal is to “improve access to formal financial services,” especially in rural areas, from 69% to 90% by 2020.

In Asia, Fullerton India, a non-bank financial company in India, is working to provide financial services products and services to millions of customers in Indian cities, towns and villages—right at their doorsteps. And there are many more powerful stories like these.

The Digital Banking Future

So, how do organizations like Fullerton India reach the “unbanked” and do so in an economically viable manner? Many are finding that one of the main catalysts to financial EUC Insights 2016 square CTAinclusion is eliminating paper trails whenever possible. Innovative technologies—particularly business mobility—allow financial services organizations to do just that. By digitizing services for anywhere, anytime banking, financial institutions create new ways to bring the unbanked into the financial mainstream.

In many emerging economies, financial services IT has become highly distributed, with branch offices and a rising number of remote workers and agents spread across thousands of miles using different mobile devices. Tech teams are challenged to support remote employees, who often face issues accessing critical corporate resources, especially in rural areas, while ensuring adherence to strict security and compliance regulations.

Fullerton India had the same challenges and partnered with VMware AirWatch on their IT transformation journey to empower their remote workforce to be productive from anywhere. The unified mobile platform also enables workers to secure the confidential data that they access across multiple devices.

Dive deeper into Fullerton India’s powerful business mobility story here.

Enhancing End-user Experiences & Bolstering Compliance

By providing a powerful user experience with easy access to emails, content and apps, financial services organizations like Fullerton India enable their employees to be productive on the go. Administrators also gain the ability to control, manage, secure and fix any device remotely, while keeping sensitive data and access behind a secure firewall. Using this next-generation mobility platform, financial institutions can tap into new business opportunities and revolutionize the sphere of financial inclusion securely and in compliance with industry mandates.

Be Competitive & Stay Relevant

From championing the cause of financial inclusion to effectively servicing customers in remote locations, devices are proving to be a powerful tool in the financial services industry. And AirWatch helps deliver life-changing mobile financial services to the millions of people across the world that still have no access to traditional banking. We are incredibly humbled and proud to be part of that journey. One step at a time…

Here are a few additional resources to help financial services IT leaders:

Image courtesy of Fullerton India.

Manasee Dash

Manasee Dash

Manasee is the senior product line manager for financial services solutions, End-User Computing, at VMware.

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