MetLife and Visa partner to boost backing for financial inclusion

  • By Christine St Anne

MetLife together with Visa have launched an initiative to boost capital and resources for emerging fintechs who are tackling financial inclusion.

“Though capital is available to well-known and established fintechs, it’s less so for the early-stage companies focused on financial inclusion,” MetLife Foundation director of financial health Sarah Will said.

“This effort will create visibility into a pipeline of inclusive fintechs that are reducing costs in delivery, improving the customer experience and ultimately creating an environment where low- to moderate-income people can build resilience, expand their economic opportunities and plan for the future.”

The partnership also includes the involvement of global not-for-profit Accion and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and will recognise the top 50 early-stage fintechs – branded as the “Inclusive Fintech 50”.

The list will include the most impactful, emerging fintechs that demonstrate the power of financial technology to expand access, usage and quality of financial services in advanced and emerging markets.

“Fintech companies are driving innovation, especially as it relates to un-served and underserved populations,” Visa global head of social impact aid Marianne Mwaniki said.

“This initiative will help investors identify those high-potential companies and, in turn, help those companies attract the capital and knowledge they need to scale their business for maximum social impact.”

The competition will assess fintechs across the following criteria: inclusiveness, business model innovation, scale potential, and traction.

A panel of more than 20 industry experts from venture capital, fintech, banking and other sectors will review applicants and select the winners.