Rather than fighting against the banks, lots of Fintech startups have addressed another market: the unbanked population. They represent about half of the world’s population, and are especially present in emerging countries from Asia and Africa. 40% of them has access to a mobile phone, which can provide the infrastructure to financial services such as payments, transfers, savings, remittance but also credit and investment.
We have curated and analysed a few startups from these countries which are directing their efforts towards the financial inclusion of the unbanked population.
Fintech startups in mobile wallets and digital currencies
By using the famous digital currency Bitcoin, the startups BitPesa in Kenya has entered the remittance market and solved an important issue for the African diaspora around the world. Kenya is also home to the most advanced mobile money market in the world with the M-Pesa.
The Philippines, 3rd largest remittance market after China and India, could also lead the way in the digital currency with Coins.ph as Filipinos are heavy users of mobile phones.
Fintech startups facilitating credit’s access with social media and P2P lending platforms
Platforms such as Lenddo in the Philippines, Columbia, India and New York are giving access to credit to more people by using social media data to reduce the risk, while P2P lending platforms such as WeLab in Hong Kong, China and India, Crowdo in all Asia or IndiaLends in India are making lending available to individuals or SMEs at lower rates and with less hassle.
Fintech startups offering trading and investing services for all
Automated investment services, sometimes called “Robo-advisers”, are also expanding rapidly in Asia, especially China, after US and Europe. The leading mobile trading and investing service in Asia is the startup 8 Securities. Its main competitor is Tencent, which proposes a wealth management service through its famous messaging app WeChat.