How Financial Institutions and Fintechs Are Partnering for Inclusion

A joint report from the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion and the Institute of International Finance

This report examines 14 partnerships between traditional financial companies and fintechs that are addressing financial inclusion challenges and expanding access to the formal financial economy for underserved segments, particularly in emerging markets. It incorporates insights from interviews with 32 people from 25 institutions at the frontlines of this trend and highlights partnerships focused on financial inclusion that we think exemplify good practice.

As such, the partnerships the authours highlight in this report are “positive deviants”. The insights in the report build on best-case-scenarios for partnerships for financial inclusion. The partnerships are not representative of all such partnerships but rather aspirational. Through this exercise, the hope is that institutions develop a better sense for what is possible.

The primary audiences for this report are those in mainstream financial institutions who want to know how their contemporaries are engaging with innovators to pursue financial inclusion, and those in fintech companies who want to understand the way banks are likely to approach them. In addition, venture capital firms, multilaterals, and industry associations have much to learn from this research about what drives banks to partner, what gets in the way, and what comes next.

The report finds that contrary to a popular narrative of competition between the legacy providers and newcomers in the market, financial institutions view fintechs as great partners for innovation.

Download the publication.