Technology undoubtedly has the potential to improve the access, quality and relevance of financial services for underserved customers around the world. Dynamic tech startups lie at the forefront of innovation in this space, harnessing technology, data and lean operating models to design more affordable, accessible and appropriate products that meet the unique needs of underserved customers.
However, inclusive tech startups face unique barriers to scale that governments and market facilitators are well positioned to help solve. In January 2020, BFA Global’s Catalyst Fund and the Tech for Growth programme at the Department for International Trade (DIT), convened over 30 tech startups from across emerging markets and the UK, to discuss seven core barriers to growth: 1. Strategic partnerships 2. Finding talent 3. Regulation 4. Understanding newer markets 5. Customer acquisition & delivery channels 6. Product design for the underserved 7. Fundraising. This report summarizes those challenges and proposed opportunities for stakeholders to address them.