As countries progress, citizens migrate from remote villages to large cities and foreign countries. Their economic power rises and they participate in the global economy.
People need to purchase food, pay electricity bills, top up transportation cards, arrange online services, buy overseas goods, repay loans, and send money to relatives.
Unlike the U.S., however, where 93% of people have banking options, many in developing markets do not. Globally, an estimated 2 billion adults lack access to formal financial services. The services that are available are typically cumbersome and expensive.
To address this gap, fintech startups are offering online and mobile solutions, which consumers are welcoming. Younger generations are increasingly embracing online banking and almost nine in 10 people under the age of 30 live in emerging markets.
Companies that are aiming to service these emerging markets with unbaked or impoverished consumers need to be grounded in ethical marketing practices and will require a strong moral compass to serve and not exploit. The involvement of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in low income or base of the pyramid markets offers the hope of market segment empowerment for those that were once on the periphery, however it also opens the door for bad actors to exploit the disadvantaged. While the base of the pyramid sector and emerging markets are seeing a surge in growth opportunities for organizations from a profit motive, there is also the avenue for companies to display strong Corporate Responsibility strategy. Companies whether large MNC’s or startups have an opportunity to leverage their core competencies to address social concerns while serving these markets to have a dual impact for the company and society as whole.
“A promise from a marketer is meaningless because the marketer isn’t part of the town, the marketer will move away, the marketer is, of course, a liar.” – Seth Godin
The organizations who hope to serve this demographic need to position themselves as part of the culture, they need to create tangible value through their products and services not just for themselves but for the populations they serve. One blockchain fintech company is doing just that through their financial services platform. Uulala is a financial solutions platform that provides the underbanked population access to the financial inclusion tools they need to change their future. The Uulala platform has created a decentralized peer to peer network to load cash into the digital economy. Once users have loaded in funds they have access to a Visa / MasterCard to participate in ecommerce or other purchase means. They can send remittances cross borders, pay their bills or top up their phone minutes all within the mobile app. The Uulala proprietary micro-credit algorithms can extrapolate users’ purchase history and behavioral habits to forecast their true financial abilities in a moment by moment basis. Most financial activities do not count for a standard credit score. The fico system does not work around the world. A change is needed for global consumers to have access to products and services they desire. The Uulala platform is a unique system that tracks all financial activities and combines that with decentralized database technology to show the level of creditworthiness a user possesses.
The financial inclusion mission with the immutability of blockchain allows companies like Uulala to run their organizations as a social impact company all while providing key access for their users to products and services they desire. The Uulala platform also provides access for other firms who once tried to connect with this demographic but was unable to because they lacked a sufficient payment mechanism. For example, companies that offer digital subscription services like music or content streaming are unable to collect their monthly fee in a reliable manner from those that are under or unbanked, the Uulala platform solves that. Uulala will have to be the steward for responsibility, financial education and watchdog for their customers to make sure no predatory institutions try to exploit them.