The crucial role of fintech in promoting financial inclusion

Wednesday 28 February 2024 11:36 CET | Editor: Raluca Ochiana | Interview

Jovi Overo, Managing Director at Unlimit, provides a valuable perspective on the crucial role of fintech in promoting financial inclusion.


How do cross-border payments contribute to enhancing financial inclusion?

Cross-border payments are a cornerstone of financial inclusion, especially in a globalised economy. They enable people, regardless of geographic location, to participate in the global market.

Among the most popular initiatives to increase financial inclusion, Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) appears to have the greatest potential. The reason for this stems from the fact that it makes it possible for any company to offer financial products that are tailored to the needs of their customers, without having to obtain a banking licence. So, although BaaS solutions don’t service the end-user directly, they bring the provision of ever-developing technologies to BaaS clients who are then able to reach new regions and open opportunities in untapped markets. This trickle effect will support financial access as a long-term solution that is a catalyst for driving change through a highly flexible, cost-efficient, and continually developing technology.

BaaS platforms facilitate cross-border payments by lowering the barriers of entry for fintech companies – allowing them to offer affordable, secure, and efficient international transaction services. This is particularly beneficial for underbanked populations who can, consequently, receive remittances, engage in ecommerce, and access financial services previously out of reach.

How can businesses ensure that their services and products are made widely accessible to a diverse audience?

Businesses can leverage BaaS APIs to design products that cater to various customer needs, including different languages, currencies, and cultural preferences. By partnering with a BaaS provider, businesses can quickly adapt their offerings to meet the legal and financial requirements of multiple regions, making their services accessible to a broader audience. Incorporating inclusive design principles, such as simplicity and clarity, also ensures that financial products are user-friendly, regardless of their financial literacy levels.

Can you share with our audience what are some best practices for developing an attractive and intuitive UX?

An attractive fintech UX should be intuitive and prioritise simplicity and clarity. This means designing with a minimalistic approach, using familiar elements like recognisable icons and sliders, and providing a clear path to completion for any transaction. It also involves utilising a responsive design to ensure functionality across all devices, implementing progressive disclosure to not overwhelm users with information, and providing real-time feedback to keep users informed throughout their interaction with the app or platform.

Of course, a smart UX design is essential for all digital products, but I think it’s maybe more important for fintech than any other industry. There are a variety of different things fintech companies are required to disclose within their app — such as terms and conditions, policy links, disclaimers, and other useful information — and one of the central challenges is the placement of this information, setting up the app in such a way that it doesn’t overwhelm and confuse the user. The best way to do that is to present the critical content upfront, with an easily accessible flow, and to add supplementary or hidden tool tips and dropdown menus for the rest. 

What approach can fintechs take to foster trust? 

Fostering trust in fintech revolves around transparency, security, and customer support. Companies should be clear about their processes, fees, and data-handling practices. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures and complying with industry standards like PCI DSS, as discussed previously, reassures users of their data’s safety. Additionally, offering responsive and effective customer support, as we’ve seen with successful BaaS implementations, helps build confidence and loyalty among users. 

Once a fintech has built that trust, it is vital not to lose it. One of the most common reasons for a loss of trust is a lack of transparency. Today, customers are not going to put up with any ambiguity regarding their personal and financial data when it comes to how it’s collected, how it’s stored, and how it’s used by fintechs. Anything less than full transparency is going to cost you customers. Another big issue arises around security. You have to make the customers feel safe and secure online, and investing in dynamic, robust, and reliable security processes that protect financial transactions has never been so vital. 

What are the fundamental aspects that global businesses should prioritise when navigating the regulatory landscape? 

When navigating the regulatory landscape, global businesses should prioritise compliance, localisation, and adaptability. Understanding and adhering to the regulatory requirements in each jurisdiction, such as GDPR in Europe or PSD2 for payment services, is critical. Localisation involves tailoring services to meet local laws, cultural norms, and customer expectations. Lastly, it is crucial for businesses to be adaptable in order to quickly respond to regulatory changes and leverage their BaaS partnership to make necessary adjustments without significant downtime.

This editorial piece was first published in The Paypers' Cross-Border Payments and Ecommerce Report 2023–2024, which taps into the fast-growing cross-border market and provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments that are pivotal in this space, being the ultimate source of information for ecommerce businesses interested in expanding globally. 

About Jovi Overo

With over 20 years of experience in fintech, payments, banking, and Lending-as-a-Service, Jovi currently serves as the Managing Director for Unlimit’s global BaaS division. Jovi holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an MBA from the prestigious Imperial College Business School. In his current role, Jovi is responsible for developing and implementing innovative BaaS solutions for Unlimit.



About Unlimit

Unlimit is a global fintech that offers a portfolio of financial services including payment processing, BaaS, and an on and off-ramp fiat solution for crypto, DeFi, and GameFi. With 500 employees across 16 offices and five continents, the company aims to eliminate financial boundaries for global business across Europe, the UK, LATAM, APAC, India, and Africa.

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Keywords: cross-border payments, ecommerce, financial inclusion, fintech, BaaS, API, cybersecurity, PCI compliance, regulation, PSD2, GDPR
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Unlimit
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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