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Access to financial services is one of the most pressing issues of the modern days. In theory, the modern financial system provides a lot of opportunities and financial services, such as bank accounts, savings, credit, investment products, etc, but in reality larger populace of even most countries do not have access even to the very basic financial services. Investment is even worse in terms of accessibility.
Traditional finance, unfortunately, can do very little to solve this issue. For example, in the United Kingdom, financial inclusivity is one of the main priorities for the House of Commons Treasury Committee, but in its annual reports the committee admits that the existing situation is not really improving. Regulatory and banks interests don’t allow much to be done outside of direct government sponsorship of very limited programs. Obviously, such programs are only a palliative solution.
In developing countries the situation is even worse. For example, in Egypt, less than half of registered companies actually work with the banks.
Additionally, in developing countries local banks charge much higher interest due to unstable economic output and access to credit is restricted unduly to mitigate any losses on the local financial institutions. Large banks in developed countries are also unavailable for developing countries residents—partly due to local government policies, partly due to banks’ rules.
This is where fintech tries to help.
Seeing these gaps in the financial services industry, providing wider access to financial services became the focus of the fintech industry.
Proliferation of cryptocurrencies led to development of a whole plethora of projects and full-fledged ecosystems, whose goal was to ensure easy access to financial products. Money transfers, lending platforms, even investment opportunities—blockchain and cryptocurrency made all of it available for everyone.