MetLife Foundation and Visa Inc., with global nonprofit Accion and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced a new initiative to recognize the top 50 early-stage fintechs contributing to financial inclusion around the globe.
The “Inclusive Fintech 50” will culminate in a list of 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.
The initiative brings together four organizations driving investment and influence in technology and innovation for financial inclusion. The initiative will be implemented by MIX, the global data resource for socially responsible investors and businesses focused on inclusive finance.
“The migration to digital financial services improves the lives of individuals, supports stronger businesses and spurs economic progress and prosperity. Fintech companies are driving innovation, especially as it relates to un-served and underserved populations,” said Marianne Mwaniki, Global Head of Social Impact at Visa Inc. “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.”
Investors often cite difficulty in identifying prospective fintech investees, especially those contributing to inclusion, while financial service providers struggle to identify appropriate fintech partners. “Though capital is available to well-known and established fintechs, it’s less so for the early-stage companies focused on financial inclusion,” said Sarah Willis, Director of Financial Health at MetLife Foundation. “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 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:
Nejoud Al Mulaik, Director, Fintech Saudi
Bindu Ananth, Chair & Trustee, Dvara Trust
Ginger Baker, Head of Product, Financial Services, Facebook
Dan Barker, Vice President, BlackRock
Marla Blow, Founder & CEO, FS Card Inc.
Marcelo Castellanos, Regional Industry Manager, IFC
Nadine Chehade, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
Alejandro Del Bosque, Director, Banco Azteca
Paul Edwards, Executive Chairman, Merryn Capital
Bernhard Eikenberg, Fund Manager, Bamboo Capital Partners
Sergio Furio, Founder & CEO, Creditas
Nick Hughes, Founder & Strategy Director, M-KOPA
Zennon Kapron, Founder & Director, Kapronasia
Machal Karim, Executive of Development Impact, CDC Group
Françoise Lamotte, SVP, Head of Digital, MetLife EMEA
Rob Levy, VP Financial Health, CFSI
M. Yasmina McCarty, Head of Mobile for Development, GSMA
Amolo Ng’weno, CEO, BFA
Ken Njoroge, CEO, Cellulant
Tayo Oviosu, Founder & CEO, Paga
Anju Patwardhan, Managing Director, Creditease
Parag Rao, Country Head of Payments Business & Marketing, HDFC Bank Ltd
Clinton Townsend, Director, Visa
Zia Zaman, Chief Innovation Officer, MetLife Asia
Gabriela Zapata Alvarez, Independent Consultant
Interested early-stage fintechs should apply between February 11 and March 8 by visiting www.inclusivefintech50.com. Winners will be announced in June 2019.