The Unbanked: A Look At The Solutions

mobile payment

Smartphones are the missing link for financial inclusion

If you are living in a developed first world country, we might forgive you for thinking such things as contributing to a savings account or making contactless payments are the order of the day everywhere across the globe. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. The reality of things is that millions of people globally are unbanked. They do not have access to a bank account.

While this might be difficult to fathom or even process, it is the reality on the ground. World Bank says that approximately 1.7 billion people across the globe are unbanked. The situation in sub-Saharan Africa is worse. An unbelievable 80% of people dwelling in sub-Saharan Africa do not have any access to semi-formal or formal financial services.

This, of course, brings to the fore one fundamental question: How do the unbanked in such areas get access to financial services? Believe it or not, a whopping two-thirds of them own a smartphone. This immensely bridges the gap and provides an avenue through which they can achieve financial inclusion using their mobile devices.

Smartphone ownership is on an upward trajectory

You guessed it right. The number of people without smartphones and expected to own at least one smartphone is on an upward trajectory. In fact, the number of people who use/own smartphones globally has surpassed 3 billion. What’s more? That number is forecasted to grow by a couple of hundred million in the next few years.

In Africa alone, ownership of smartphones is in the hundreds of millions. This has made it possible for the millions of the unbanked (even those living in the remotest areas) on the continent to leverage online shopping using their smartphones.

Wonder how? The digital wallets are linked to their mobile phones and with the help of mobile money, they can top up cash to their digital wallets and shop effortlessly using their phones from the comfort of their homes.

people holding smart phones

Smartphone penetration is on a steady growth

The increased demand for smartphones across the globe means one thing: financial inclusion is a realizable dream. With more and more people taking up smartphones in the remotest parts of the world, delivering banking services is easy.

Financial inclusion for these groups of people means an opportunity for them to improve their lives drastically. Of course, there are still major challenges, such as illiteracy and high levels of unemployment, but such hiccups can be overcome with time.

What we can all agree on is that there is a huge potential to bring all these unbanked people on board. The prospects are promising and smartphones will indeed play a significant role in achieving financial inclusion.

At hi, we believe that financial inclusion is a possibility through a smartphone revolution. With a smartphone in hand, free membership, top-notch industry leading security, no mark-ups, zero fees, and proper management of customers’ money, the future is already here.

Our members from across the globe can use their smartphones to buy, transfer, and exchange money in real time from the comfort of their homes using social messengers. I mean, who wouldn’t love convenience?

Our core aim remains financial inclusion for all, irrespective of where they are in the world!

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.