Council Post: Achieving Equality Through Financial Inclusion
Financial inclusion is a way to bridge the divide and lessen the space between rungs.
Getty Some people find that banking every day is a tedious task. The internet has made it possible to automate many of the hoops that we used to have. Our pay arrives on time and without fail. No more waiting in line with our check in hand and hoping that a teller will wave us over. We don't need to worry about financial disruptions due to check-hold policies. Our financial institutions have been a part of our lives for many years. Opportunities arise from creditworthiness, which we don't often consider. We have overdraft protection. Financial offerings can help us reduce our debt and keep us in good financial standing. Financial institutions provide financial services, tools, and products to help us better manage our money and create wealth. However, many people still face obstacles that make it difficult to gain access to funds quickly and easily.
Financial inclusion is a possible economic solution to the constant chatter about recession, inflation, and dire economic conditions. According to estimates, close to 2 billion people worldwide don't have access to financial services. This includes 30,000,000 Americans. In Canada, however, 10%-20% of Canadians do not have access to the banking services they need. These people are either unbanked or underbanked. These Canadians come from low-income families, which includes those who live in remote communities. This includes Indigenous peoples and people with disabilities. The rise in inequality and its effects on society has been a topic of much discussion over the past 20 years. Barack Obama, former president, noted in 2011 that the ladder of opportunities has become more and more dispersed over the past few decades and that the middle class has been shrinking. Financial inclusion can help to reduce the gap between the rungs and bridge the divide. Equal access to financial services is the goal. It is essential that all people have access to financial and other social resources in order to help them escape poverty. It's never been easier to access digital transactions and financial technology. Underbanked people are more likely to use check-cashing and payday loans to pay for their purchases, bridge gaps between paychecks, and manage their finances. It is important to remember the high usage of cash and checks among the unbanked, and the potential challenges this can present. These payment methods have many disadvantages. It is difficult to deposit checks, they are easy to lose, and they are prone to theft. They are slow to process payments and rely on mail delivery. The funds cannot be accessed by anyone if the check has been returned in the mail. We are at an important turning point. Financial services are also evolving with digital products and services. * Financial institutions as well as the entire fintech community can contribute to financial literacy. It is important that we continue to help and educate those most in need. It can be frustrating, confusing, and overwhelming to manage money. Technology can make it easier to get products and services. * Digital payment solutions today open up new avenues for paying, including earned wage access and on-demand pay. * All financial products and services should be tailored to meet the needs of underbanked or unbanked customers. They should also be different from current customer models. This industry is a great place to work. Digital banking has the foundations laid. This means that everyone, no matter where they live, or how much they have, can now conveniently pay, invest, and access financial services. Forbes Technology Council is an exclusive community for CIOs, CTOs, and other technology executives. Do I qualify?