Financial technology giant, FIS has announced the creation of a financial inclusion lab in the Indian city of Bengaluru (Bangalore) that will serve as a center focused on developing new financial technologies that can be deployed to reduce India’s hundreds of millions of unbanked and underbanked consumers. According to FIS, the lab will operate as a hub for FIS as it works closely with domestic stakeholders to create and test new technology and help improve financial literacy.
Commenting on the launch of the lab, Raja Gopalakrishnan, EVP, global financial institutions at FIS said,
“FIS’ Financial Inclusion Lab will provide a platform for knowledge sharing and enabling high impact sustainability programs that can be utilized by banks and other financial institutions in the future.”
According to the World Bank, 53% of adults (defined as individuals over the age of 15) maintained an account at a formal financial institution in 2014. But with an overall population of 1.2 billion there is still considerable progress to be made and the current government has made it a priority to improve financial inclusion via ordering existing players to reach out to the unbanked with attractive banking products and the licensing of new “payment banks” that are alternative providers and can leverage different platforms to increase financial inclusion.
While much of the attention has been paid to existing players, the move by FIS shows the international community is also committed to action and the move should pay dividends for FIS and jump start greater action by the global payments industry in addressing financial inclusion.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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