IFC and Fidor to champion financial inclusion in Africa and LatAm
Germany-based digital bank Fidor has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, “to identify opportunities to expand digital banking services in Africa and Latin America to boost financial inclusion”.
The two parties will identify financial institutions and partners to introduce or expand digital bank joint ventures. Fidor will provide its own proprietary technology platform – the Fidor Operating System (fOS) – for API banking to deliver financial services in a cost efficient manner, in addition to share its knowledge in building and running a digital bank from the ground up.
IFC says digital technologies are “essential” to enable it and its parent meet their goal of “Universal Finance Access” – enabling one billion more people to have access to a transaction account by 2020.
“Fidor’s business model is deeply rooted in providing fair banking in the most efficient fashion possible which aligns with financial inclusion agendas. Having access to financial services can improve people’s everyday lives in emerging markets,” states Matthias Kröner, founder and CEO of Fidor.
“However, the benefits of financial inclusion are not only limited to individuals, and can help emerging countries’ economic and social development, as well as playing a significant role in empowering people and societies.”
Around two billion working-age adults globally do not use formal financial services. Extending access to finance to them is the first building block to build a better life, Fidor and IFC state. As account holders, the two parties explain, people are more likely to use other financial services, such as credit and insurance, start and expand businesses, invest in education or health, manage risk, and weather financial shocks, all of which can improve the overall quality of their lives.