Financial technology (fintech) has taken centre stage in the financial inclusion industry in recent years. Think digital lending platforms where small businesses can apply for a loan in just a few minutes. And apps that allow people to pay for utility bills or school fees, saving them hours of have to walk to a brick-and-mortar bank. Or Pay-As-You-Go systems that use mobile technology to give people access to electricity via solar home systems.
Many believe that these low cost, far-reaching digital solutions hold the key inclusive finance because they have the power to reach the 1.7 billion people worldwide who are still excluded from formal financial services, and the 131 million (or 40% of) formal micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries that struggle to access business finance.
The speed of fintech adoption in emerging markets is accelerating. Platforms are mushrooming, and investment activities are increasing. At the same time, numerous governments and regulators across many jurisdictions are working to develop adequate fintech ecosystems, trying to keep pace with the market’s rapid growth.
Recognising the potential of inclusive fintech solutions and building upon our unique longstanding track record in financial inclusion, Triodos Investment Management is building an impactful fintech investment portfolio.