A new report by Oxford Economics and San Francisco-based fintech Juvo projects that providing financial identities to the world's unbanked population could add $250 billion to global GDP.
Bringing people in the developing nations of Asia and Latin America into the formal global economy would be the equivalent of adding a country of 95 million people to global production, the report states.
The research utilised alternative data and machine learning to build financial identities for the world's unbanked population, standing at 1.7 billion people according to the World Bank, and project the effect this would have on the world economy.
Oxford Economics devised a scenario in which telco companies create financial identities and credit scores for their unbanked customers, enabling consumers to build up to larger transactions and gain access to other financial services.
This would help to "unlock overlooked sources of cash" according to Juvo.
As well as adding $250bn to global GDP, Oxford Economics believes this would bring $408bn in glboal credit availability, $512bn in household savings and a 6% increase in GDP per capita in low-income countries.
Anubhav Mohanty, lead econometrician at Oxford Economics, describes the projections as a "conservative estimate of this market's true potential", given the added swell of people who are underbanked, as opposed to unbanked.
"For financial institutions and the mobile telecom operators they partner with, it represents a multi-billion-dollar revenue opportunity," adds Steve, founder and CEO of Juvo.
"And for the unbanked, it opens up fair and equal access to useful financial services that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them."