Using Mobile Technology to Promote Financial Inclusion

By:  Jason Fletcher

As we approach the halfway point of the year 2018, we can look back at the growth of mobile technology in the last couple of years, especially in the financial services industries, and look forward to the newest innovations that are changing the way we manage our money. These innovations are exactly what led me to join Blytz as the new Chief Information Officer.

One such exciting innovation is mobile payments, which allow payment of bills for products and services using a mobile phone. Traditionally, these conveniences have been available only to those with a bank account, however, financial technology companies, like Blytz, have been pushing to extend these services to the unbanked and underbanked. It’s these emerging populations that need financial solutions more than any other economic group.

According to a survey conducted by the FDIC in 2016, 1 in 4 households in the United States are considered unbanked or underbanked. This means that they have little or no access to traditional banking services that the other 75% of the country take for granted. These include services like savings accounts, checking accounts and even credit cards and debit cards. This limits their ability to participate in the economy that is moving increasingly online.  My partner, and Blytz  CEO, Robyn Burkinshaw referenced this earlier on our blog as an impetus in creating Blytz.

These groups often seek alternative methods of “banking”, such as pre-paid debit cards, money grams and cash. These alternative banking methods often come at a higher price tag due to fees attached to many of the services, such as loading a pre-paid debit card or checking the balance at an ATM. These fees add up and put additional strain on what may already be a precarious financial situation. Blytz is a way to alleviate some of that strain.

We spoke to one car dealership that told us that 82% of the payments made to their dealership for cars purchased were made in cash. Can you imagine driving to the car dealership once, or even twice, a month to pay the bill in cash if you have moved further from the dealership? This could present a financial strain just in fuel costs alone.

To wrap my thoughts, Financial Inclusion is viewed as one of the most important factors in reducing poverty, and new technologies are coming into the market to address the ever-increasing gap between the underbanked and the services and products they need.

Blytz is one of these technologies, and our ability to provide financial inclusion is one of the primary reasons I am so pleased to be part of the company. By providing a mobile platform that incorporates multiple payment options and a two-way communication to their merchants, Blytz helps provide control over their finances, convenience and security that haven’t been available before for this segment of the financial market. Thanks for the read and inclusion for all via Blytz!