Where Is Financial Inclusion Heading To?

A good proxy to figure out where financial inclusion is heading to is the recent Inclusive Fintech 50, a global competition which promotes promising early-stage fintechs working to benefit the world’s 3 billion financially underserved people.

Delivered by MetLife Foundation and Visa Inc., with global nonprofit Accion and World Bank Group member IFC, the contest was launched in February 2019 to eventually count 400 applicants for 50 winners.


Diving into the winner list it emerges that approximately 30 per cent of the winners provides credit products to underserved segments including MSMEs, and approximately 25 per cent offer infrastructure solutions like biometrics software that enable financial institutions to expand access to previously excluded groups. Fintechs offering insurance, payments & remittances services, and savings & personal financial management tools each made up approximately 15 per cent of the winners.

Inclusive Fintech 50 ‘s winning categories.


Where do they stand in their funding journey? Nearly 7 winners in 10 are pre-Series A, yet these startups already exhibit strong product-market fit and traction, as demonstrated by their combined 8 million customers.

“Existing research indicates that investment capital has largely overlooked early-stage and inclusive fintechs in several markets,” said Marianne Mwaniki, Head of Social Impact at Visa, Inc. “This group of winners makes clear that there are high-potential startups with viable products and business models – and they’re ready for investment.”


In terms of geographic distribution, nearly one-third operate in more than one region, and another third operate exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Twenty per cent of the selected fintechs operates exclusively in South Asia, and 8 per cent each in North America and East Asia & the Pacific.

The remainder comes from Latin America & the Caribbean and MENA.

“Inclusive Fintech 50 demonstrates that there are lesser-known fintechs able to reach underserved populations with appropriate financial products,” said Sarah Willis, Director of Financial Health & Inclusion at MetLife Foundation. “We want to support startups that are addressing the holistic needs of these target segments with the ultimate goal of improving their financial health.”

1 in 3 among Inclusive Fintech 50 ‘s winners has an international reach. ( Photo by Brett Zeck on Unsplash)


East Asia & the Pacific

  • AwanTunai (credit)
  • Frollo (savings & personal financial management)
  • JULO (credit)
  • TaniFund (credit)

Latin America & the Caribbean

  • Celcoin (payments & remittances)

Middle East & North Africa

  • Dinarak (payments & remittances)
  • Dopay (payments & remittances)

North America

  • Distilled Identity (infrastructure)
  • Edquity (savings & personal financial management)
  • Resolve (savings & personal financial management)
  • Self Lender (savings & personal financial management)

South Asia

  • BASIX Sub-K (infrastructure)
  • CreditVidya (credit)
  • GramCover (insurance)
  • Happy (credit)
  • Jai Kisan (credit)
  • SmartCoin (credit)
  • Tez Financial Services (savings & personal financial management)
  • Three Wheels United (credit)
  • Toffee Insurance (insurance)

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • ACRE Africa (insurance)
  • Apollo Agriculture (credit)
  • awamo (infrastructure)
  • E-Settlement (infrastructure)
  • Hello Paisa (payments & remittances)
  • Inclusivity Solutions (insurance)
  • Kwara (infrastructure)
  • MaTontine (infrastructure)
  • Numida (infrastructure)
  • OZÉ (infrastructure)
  • PEG Africa (credit)
  • People’s Pension Trust (savings & personal financial management)
  • Pezesha (credit)
  • Pula (insurance)
  • Riby (infrastructure)
  • Tulaa (credit)

Multiple Regions

  • 4Told Fintech (credit)
  • AID:Tech (payments & remittances)
  • Blockbonds (savings & personal financial management)
  • Click2Sure (insurance)
  • CreditEnable (credit)
  • Everest (infrastructure)
  • hiveonline (infrastructure)
  • Mosabi (credit)
  • Musoni Systems (infrastructure)
  • MyCash Online (payments & remittances)
  • Peppermint (payments & remittances)
  • Stonestep (insurance)
  • Teknospire (infrastructure)
  • Thunes (payments & remittances)

Find out more here.