New Business Models and Emerging Technologies are Enabling FinTech Companies to Improve Financial Inclusion, Report Says

SINGAPORE, March 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, FinTech companies are making significant progress in promoting financial inclusion through innovative business models, products and increased use of emerging technologies such as digital identity, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, says a new report co-authored by CreditEase, IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, and Stanford Graduate School of Business. The report, "Financial Inclusion in the Digital Age," was launched today during Money20/20 Asia in Singapore.

The report is co-authored by Anju Patwardhan, Managing Director at CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund and 2016 Fulbright Fellow at Stanford University; Kai Schmitz, Investment Lead for the Global FinTech Investment Group of IFC; and Kenneth Singleton, Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Over two billion unbanked adults in the world, representing 38 percent of all adults globally, do not have access to basic financial services and another 57 percent have basic accounts but do not have access to a full range of services that include diversified savings and investments, low-cost payments systems, insurance, or credit. Financial Inclusion in the Digital Age explores some of the central frictions that prevent greater financial inclusion and financial well-being and associated technological innovations that are fostering creative new approaches to mitigating these frictions for individuals and small businesses globally.

The report also includes a list of Top 100 FinTech companies globally that are supporting "Financial Inclusion in the Digital Age" across four main verticals of impact: payments, lending and related ecosystems, savings and financial planning, and insurance. These companies are mission-driven but are also focused on providing attractive risk-adjusted returns to their investors. These companies are but one key component of an evolving financial services ecosystem. "As we evolve towards increasingly digital and open banking systems, I envision many of the companies highlighted in this report as becoming central players in bundled, more inclusive services from major banks and market-place platforms," says Ken Singleton.

The innovations and models outlined in this report highlight different solutions to three common core problems that limit financial inclusion: access to financial services, product-market fit and affordability. The report calls on concerted efforts from multiple players: entrepreneurs, regulators, investors, policymakers, large incumbents, and consumers, to sustain the efforts of the growing private sector to improve financial inclusion.

"FinTech companies are a focus of CreditEase's FinTech Investment Fund of USD 1 billion. To date, our Fund has invested in 26 FinTech companies globally, across all four verticals highlighted in the report. These include investments in several of the companies in the Top 100 list," says Anju Patwardhan.

"In the past 11 years, CreditEase has grown from China's first marketplace lending platform to a full-service FinTech company with a global footprint," says Ning Tang, CEO and Founder of CreditEase and China's FinTech pioneer. "We have innovative products across lending, savings and wealth management, and insurance verticals. As a firm believer of an innovation-driven new economy, we welcome this report that explores innovative solutions for promoting inclusive finance and we look forward to continuously contributing to this worthy cause in the next phase of our journey."

"At IFC, we are committed to expanding financial capacities of individuals and business. We believe one way to achieve this is through the use of technology, in particular in financial services," says Giri Jadeja, IFC Global Head of Financial Innovation. "IFC's FinTech strategy is to promote innovative solutions that expand financial services and help banks and other existing providers to expand their markets. This is exemplified by the companies mentioned in the report, and many others we support across the world."

The full report on Financial Inclusion in the Digital Age can be accessed at this link.

About CreditEase

CreditEase is a leading FinTech company in China, specializing in inclusive finance and wealth management, in addition to payment technology, marketplace lending, crowdfunding, robo-advisory, insurance technology and blockchain products and services. CreditEase actively engages with global FinTech innovators through business incubation, commercial cooperation, and investment. Better tech, better finance, better world. For more information, visit

About IFC

IFC - a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group - is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

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