The Inclusion Foundation launches to tackle financial exclusion
A new charity has launched in the UK on 23 April, backed by Mastercard, the Emerging Payments Association, PPS, GPS, SkyParlour and Manifesto Growth. The Inclusion Foundation (TIF), aims to fight financial exclusion in the UK.
The statement highlights how its inception comes at a time when the society’s most vulnerable are in the greatest need of vital financial services as they cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially unlocking £1.8bn in benefits for low-income households.
TIF’s proprietary research highlights that 1.23m of the UK’s most vulnerable do not have access to a bank account and such disadvantaged segments of society find it very challenging to pay and get paid. The social isolation measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, exasperates the problem which is having an unintended consequence for the socially vulnerable who also have less access to cash than ever before.
The Inclusion Foundation provides three core services: SignpostNowTM, a comparison website enabling underserved customers to compare financial products that suit their individual needs; the Inclusion SignpostTM, an accreditation recognising financial services products that serve the needs of previously underserved segments; and the Inclusion Academy, an education and learning programme for payment account providers and the government.
The Academy’s think tank arm is dedicated to keeping the pressure on all key stakeholders while publishing news, research and discussion papers.
A payments account is a key utility; with this access, the user can benefit from social mobility enabling them to pay for their rent, purchase goods and services and build a credit rating. Consequently, TIF is dedicated to joining the dots between the fintech industry and the mainstream financial services sector, government bodies and charities to bring awareness of the accredited solutions available and enable more people into the banking system and out of the ‘poverty trap’.
“One in four people experience financial exclusion at least once in their lifetime, which shows that as a society we’re all at risk at some point in our lives of being excluded at our most vulnerable hour,” says Neil Harris, chair of The Inclusion Foundation.
“As one of the world’s most progressive, diverse and inclusive nations, we have let the most vulnerable fall through the cracks for far too long, and leading the world in financial innovation and fintech, the UK has every opportunity to ensure that there is financial service provision for every need. That’s why we created The Inclusion Foundation – formed to connect the dots, to unite the industry and to make financial exclusion a thing of the past.”
Mastercard, The Emerging Payments Association, PPS, GPS, SkyParlour and Manifesto Growth back TIF and have been welcomed by the Foundation as the Inclusion Pioneers.
“Lack of a bank account typically costs each individual affected somewhere in the region of £485 per year. It is unforgivable that as an industry we are allowing this to happen. This is why we are tackling exclusion head on, with the support of our pioneers, enabling payment facilities for all,” says Anne Pieckielon, the CEO of The Inclusion Foundation.
“We’re always seeking new pioneers to help foster a more financially inclusive society, so please get in touch with us if you or your organisation is interested in becoming a TIF industry pioneer.”
#FinancialInclusionMatters has been created to show support for TIF’s work and spread the word. The foundation is looking for organisations and individuals to get behind and engage with the campaign so that it becomes a powerful force for change.