Tag: fintech

Find Out How FinTech Companies Can Promote Financial Inclusion

Roughly half of the world’s population are financial nomads; those who aren’t part of the institutional finance system. In my previous blog, I wrote down three main barriers to financial inclusion, which were: cost, culture and distance. In this post, I sum three ways on how financial technology (fintech) companies can alleviate financial exclusion by removing, or at least lowering, the obstacles.

Fintech companies can charge little or no access fees

Banks normally require you to have money when you start to use their services. For example, if you want to open an account in CIMB Niaga bank in Indonesia, you’ll need an opening balance of 1,000,000 IDR (= approx. 75 USD) and pay 30,000 IDR for administration fees. If you need a checkbook, it costs an additional 100,000. [i] In CitiBank Vietnam, in turn, you’ll need an opening balance of 1,000,000 VND (= approx. 50 USD).[ii]

If you earn only a few dollars per day, these sums are a fortune.

Fintech companies can lower, or completely remove, the barrier to their services by not charging access fees. For example, famous Kenyan mobile money company M-pesa doesn’t charge any opening or administration fees. Instead, you’re charged when you transact or withdraw money. Tapp Commerce’s Tapp Market works the same way: Tapp takes a razor thin slice whenever someone does a transaction, for instance, pays an electricity bill.

Community member can use fintech tools

People at the bottom of the economic pyramid are uncomfortable with banks. Fintech tools, in turn, can be used by someone in the community. For example, every agent in Tapp Commerce’s network have Tapp’s mobile point of sale (mPOS) tool. These agents are located at the very same corner shops and street food kiosks people in the neighborhood use every day. The agent is part of the same trusted community.

Fintech company can operate around the corner

Take The Philippines for example: it’s an archipelago nation with over 7000 islands. Over 40 % of the Filipino population lives with two dollars or less per day. This is a huge challenge for traditional banking. To establish a branch on every small island is impossible. This has led to a situation where bank branches are simply too far away for so many people.

Companies, such as, M-Pesa don’t spend money on walls: mPOS tools offer the same utility but with lower costs. At the moment, for example, Tapp Commerce has over 50 000 agents in Southeast Asia. Anybody with an Android phone can become our agent.

Fintech companies have the potential to be just around the corner.

Join the revolution!

In sum, with the help of mobile technology, fintech companies can overcome barriers to financial inclusion by being affordable, trustworthy and local. Potentially billions of people can now be pulled into the digital economy.

If you are in Indonesia or The Philippines, why not give Tapp Market a try? Tapp Market is an award winning multisided marketplace platform catering to the needs of cash consumers? With Tapp Market, everyone can buy and sell online.

Join the ranks of our over 50 000 agents and 3,000,000+ satisfied customers. Start buying and selling today. Go to: www.tappmarket.com


The writer, Elia Elenius, is a Community Manager at Tapp Commerce. Follow Elia on Twitter.


[i] Realini, C, Mehta K. (2015) Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid / FriesenPress: Victoria, BC, Canada. Pp. 12-13.

[ii] Ibid. 16-17.

[iii] Plafox M.F. (2016) in The Fintech Book. / Chisti S., Barberis J. (eds). Wiley: Chichester, United Kingdom. P. 69.

Empowering Women’s Entrepreneurship

Southeast Asian (SEA) expanding economic reach bridges the ones belonging to the bottom part of the pyramid (BoP) (1) and pay cash to the merchants offering goods and services. The newcomers of consumption markets, hundreds of millions of people of Southeast Asia, have the aspiration towards inclusion to banking services. They desire access to the luxury of basic goods and services, such as airtime and electricity.

 A particular group that is currently excluded are women of Southeast Asia. Only 37 % of the women in SEA have access to a bank account and a related debit card, while the number is 55 % among the men. (2) Getting women onboard the emerging train of financial inclusion and entrepreneurship, transfers cash to the quantifiable side of the economy, adds stability and decreases unrest in societies as a whole.

Women's Empowerment

Empowering through education

Studies show that increasing women’s education promotes economic growth significantly. (3)  Not only that, an additional year of education has been also linked to lower child mortality rates. (4) Empowering women across the field, from metropolitan to rural areas, creates more opportunities for all. Women can empower themselves by being self-employed entrepreneurial ambassadors of financial inclusion. Small and medium sized (SME) enterprises boost the economy and creation of new entrepreneurs brings volume to the economic activity.

The international system is influenced by educated individuals that gather their knowledge from countries regional educational resources. Education is the powerful engine that promotes understanding of current state of affairs and measures the rate of change. By becoming part of women’s education programs, they have the ability to choose for themselves and gain an education with time spared purchasing household goods and electricity services. These means impose a solution for a society to progress further, but it also challenges structures with the demand of jobs. The engine of knowledge creates a moral dilemma for prioritised regional policy planning, as it is essential to capture and enhance educational promotion in every development program. (5)

Gender equality nurtures leadership

Mobile commerce companies catalyse change by adding economic efficiency and spices it up with the spirit of entrepreneurialism. As new entrepreneurs multiply economic hotspots to hundreds of thousands, bring volume and literally lift cash off the streets of Southeast Asian cities into digital format, to create substantial contribution into financial inclusion.

Advancing the rights by empowering women across the field, from metropolitan to rural areas, creates opportunities for girls and women alike. Opening the doors of opportunity in terms of entrepreneurship expands economic prosperity, social connections and acceptance. Transformation of women working in traditional household environment towards community enables micro-entrepreneurs to flavour the nearby society with efficiency, reliability and honesty.

Energised financial inclusion

Our ability to purchase goods and services from far-out regions to the centre of metropolises energises financial inclusion. The rapid pace of accelerated activity connects individuals, which again increase spending at an exponential pace. We already see a rapid acceleration of sovereign states that leverage their population, education, mobile technology, with gender equality and women’s empowerment. With over 50 billion connected devices, both smartphones and sensors, our societies will evolve with ever-higher pace towards 2020. (6)

Expanding access to goods and services

Making street level financial inclusion happen is about building trust. In a no-trust environment, change starts from anchoring local ways, culture and known faces with the instant gratification of cash payment and delivery of goods. The trusted corner-shop entrepreneurs, mostly women, hold a sphere of influence in the eyes of the people living nearby.

The concept of global civil society sets a more open standard for future demand of inclusions.

  • Financial: for the well-being of families and individuals.
  • Cultural: for equality and empowerment regardless of gender or education background.
  • Economic: for inclusion to official figures on a country level.

All this contributes to the official side of GDP. These elements promote women’s voice by bridging cash with goods and services, through mobile commerce towards the accountable economy. (7)

Conclusions – Rising next generation of disruptors

Increased participation from non-governmental organisations and fintech companies at international level, invite activity in societies that at earlier times have been limited in their economic reach, both culturally and geographically. By reassembling building blocks of economic structures provides a strengthened government with better transparency and accountability of their duties. People address our complex societies with their activity in elections. Elected leaders avoid socio-economic confrontation between masses, and guide nations towards a breakthrough of equality and financial empowerment for the 21st century.

Our next generation, tomorrow’s leaders, will guide our societies beyond the horizon. As we relay the baton of progress to the ones leading us further, the created groundwork evolves today’s societies towards the new variant of an old economy. Global sustainability is about continuance, enabling women to control their lives. Education plays a crucial role in this progress, as it is the powerful engine that drives the change.



Sami Leino

Director of Business Development, Tapp Commerce 



1) United Nations – word Development Report 2016 http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/wesp/wesp_current/2016wesp_update.pdf

2) “Gender gap is largest in South Asia, where 37 percent of women have an account compared to 55 percent of men (an 18 percentage point gap)” World Bank Report 2015 http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/04/15/massive-drop-in-number-of-unbanked-says-new-report

3) Clark, Friedman, and Hochsteltler, ‘‘Sovereign Limits of Global Civil Society’ – The Sovereign Limits of Global Civil Society: A Comparison of NGO Participation in UN World Conferences on the Environment, Human Rights, and Women. Ann Marie Clark, Elisabeth J. Friedman and Kathryn Hochstetler World Politics Vol. 51, No. 1 (Oct., 1998), pp. 1-35 Published by Cambridge University Press.

4) E. Gakidou, et al., 2010, “Increased Educational Attainment and its Effect on Child Mortality in 175 Countries between 1970 and 2009: A Systematic Analysis,” The Lancet, 376(9745), p. 969.

5) Chicago Journals, Transnational Advocacy, Global Civil Society? Emerging Evidence from the Field of Education Author(s): Karen Mundy and Lynn Murphy Reviewed work(s): Source: Comparative Education Review, Vol. 45, No. 1 (February 2001).

6) World Economic Forum, Study of Hyperconnected world. https://www.weforum.org/projects/hyperconnected-world/

7) Castells Manuel, The Rise of the Network Society, Second Ed. 2010, Blackwell Publishing Ltd (1e, 1996), Blackwell Publishing Ltd (2e, 2000).