Approximately 31% of adults worldwide do not have bank accounts, according to the World Bank.
Over the last decade, various financial institutions and tech companies have worked to close this gap by providing tools to access credit outside of traditional banks, manage savings and debt, and more.
Now, fintech startups in emerging markets are raising huge amounts of capital to enable financial inclusion. For example, Brazil-based challenger bank Nubank, which offers a no-fee credit card, raised a $300M funding round in June 2020 with participation from Sequoia Capital. That same month, Thailand-based SYNQA raised an $80M Series C to help unbanked consumers connect to the e-commerce and cryptocurrency markets.
Startups in the space are also partnering with big tech companies. Myanmar-based Wave Money, for instance, teamed up with Alibaba-affiliated Ant Financial to improve customer service and security for consumers conducting mobile-based financial transactions. This, along with other moves across the space, has caused recent media interest in financial inclusion to spike.
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