This article, from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, discusses how the private and public sector, together, can develop affordable and actually accessible banking solutions for the world’s poor.
For the fifth year in a row, NGOs have ranked as the most trusted institutions in the world. They are considered to be more trustworthy than governments, as well as all other types of organizations, according to this Author, William Brindley’s reported studies. Technology companies do not fall far behind NGO as the most trusted institutions, which may demonstrate how much people view technology as a force for improving qualities of life. Banks and financial institutions are the least trusted organizations, and a significant portion of the global population, about half of all adults do not have access to financial institutions. Financial inclusion, however, offers people greater security through access to tools such as savings accounts to safely store money and loans to start businesses that can help them combat poverty’s vicious cycle. The author of this article wonders, what would happen if we capitalized on the trustworthiness of NGOs and the technology industry to bridge the gap between the unbanked and access to financial services? The author sees mobile phones as a source of help for the poor in regard to banking. In Haiti, though, he explains that after the earthquake when people were given phones they did not trust them for services besides calling.
How can phones help the poor in the financial realm? How can partnerships between technology companies and development organizations best direct their attention?