How Financial Institutions and Fintechs Are Partnering for Inclusion: Lessons from the Frontlines

Highlighting 14 partnerships that exemplify best-case scenarios and good practice

This report is part of a two-year initiative, “Mainstreaming Financial Inclusion: Best Practices”, that aims to help advance efforts of financial institutions to reach customers at the base of the economic pyramid. It is the first of six reports in this series.

The report examines how partnerships between mainstream financial institutions (e.g., banks, insurers, and payment companies) and fintechs are addressing financial inclusion challenges and expanding access to the formal financial economy for underserved segments of the global population, particularly in emerging markets. It incorporates insights from 24 in-depth interviews with people at the frontlines of this innovation and highlights 14 partnerships focused on financial inclusion that exemplify best-case scenarios and good practice.

Major findings include: 

  • The best partnerships between financial institutions and fintechs are a win-win for both partners, as well as for financial inclusion;
  • To facilitate productive fintech partnerships, mainstream financial institutions are organizing internally for innovation, strategically integrating systems and staff, and developing contractual agreements to ensure stability and success;
  • Partnerships between financial institutions and fintechs represent a slow but pervasive financial industry shift toward customer-centricity;
  • Four key financial inclusion challenges are being addressed through financial institution–fintech partnerships:
    • Gaining access to new market segments;
    • Creating new offerings for existing customers;
    • Data collection, use, and management;
    • Deepening customer engagement and product usage.

About this Publication

By Kelly, S., Ferenzy, D. & McGrath, A.