A recent KPMG report states that only 27% of Southeast Asia’s population have a bank account. That’s some 438 million unbanked. In poor countries like Cambodia, this number falls to just 5%. KPMG argues that a lack of access to basic financial services has created major barriers for people to overcome poverty by making it almost impossible for them to borrow or save money. This serves to deny them the most basic services and opportunities. This is neither right nor smart.
Financial access should be a basic right. As more people connect to the global network, they are given new tools to help them grow in an increasingly interconnected world. With owning a mobile device becoming the norm, cash is now digital, enabling the sending and receiving of currency via the internet (and mobile-based), helping to address the problem around financial inclusion.
Fintech companies can make it their mission to help improve the livelihoods of the unbanked by providing them with innovative financial platforms that will create opportunities for them to improve their standard of living. And one such company doing a great job in working on accelerating financial inclusion in Southeast Asia is Onelyst.
Powered with a mission to empower consumers to make informed borrowing decisions, Onelyst is enabling consumers to discover accurate loan options. The website allows users to seek loans for different purposes, such as medical or rental expenses, and produces a list of personalised options within seconds. The innovation dint stop there for Onelyst. After analyzing the database of users, they came to an understanding that there is a huge segment of people who have stable incomes and good repayment ability, but do not have credit payment options. The team therefore launched another complimenting product Rely, aiming at providing credit payment options to people without credit cards.
The company strongly believe that responsible spenders should be given access to affordable credit. The platform provides users to choose products, from handphones to tablets, offered by partner retailers, before requesting to buy the items on credit. Rely then uses its internal score, developed through deep data analytics and analysis of non-traditional data points across users’ digital footprint, to complete its credit approval. Once approved, the buyer will receive the merchandise, and repay through installments.
Mohamed Abbas with his venture Onelyst is empowering people to make informed financial decisions. His business came about because he was exploring ideas for a start-up that could make a difference, and he knew something could be done to improve access to financial information for low-income households.
This is just one among the many inspiring stories that we are featuring at Seamless Asia. There is an entire special segment put together for innovators in the payments space. Want to know first-hand and learn from these inspiring entrepreneurs? Join more than 200 other e-commerce, retail and payments professionals speaking at Seamless Asia. For more information, download our brochure here, or go right ahead and register here.