UNICEF has been investing in technology-based, user-centric startups for around 4 years. In 2005, it partnered with the Dutch global finance company, ING Bank, and pioneered a couple of programs for the welfare of children, youth, and their families. ING UNICEF’s ‘Fintech for impact’ is the latest initiative born out of this collaboration.
We are continuously working on ways to support people in navigating financial challenges to have a positive impact on their financial well-being, said Benoît Legrand, Chief Innovation Officer, ING
The global pandemic has left the world looking for better ways to build agile communities. Fintech solutions are one of the effective ways to address the financial needs of the youth, adolescents, and family. Thus, it is an urgent need that financial tools must be designed in a way that it encourages access to services to the different strata of society.
Without access to financial services, the youth will not be able to get welfare-enhancing services. We need Fintechs that will make financial services not just accessible, but compelling to the unbanked sector. – said Pia Bernadette Roman Tayag, Managing Director, Center for Learning and Inclusion Advocacy, BSP
The ING UNICEF’s ‘Fintech for impact’ program offers a year-long incubation period for the startups. This will include technical and business mentorship from the industry experts. The UNICEF ING partnership with fintech startups brings the much-required agility to the Philippines economy. The innovative tools developed by these five startups will help in bridging service and financial gaps.
The five startups shortlisted under the ING UNICEF’s ‘Fintech for impact’ program explore fintech opportunities in different domains ranging from agriculture to education, health, and banking. Agrabah has created a digital platform to connect farmers and fisherfolk directly with buyers. The Disney inspired company acts as a mediator by taking orders from big brands and then looking out to employ farming communities to meet the request of fresh products, thus empowering Filipino farmers to steadily earn a fair profit.
BeamAndGo is a remittance service that helps migrant Filipino workers and families to manage their finances. The workers can purchase digital gift certificates for their families with which they can buy groceries, medicines etc. The service is much faster as its SMS based without any hidden charges.
Educ4all is led by a team of innovators who aim to make education accessible to all. They provide a digital platform to connect students to educational loans.
Reach52 envisions affordable healthcare for all. Their mission is to provide a digital space where microinsurance, healthcare, and health products are made affordable to rural communities. They have partnered with pharmaceutical and insurance companies and created a mobile-enabled marketplace and a team of community-based agents.
Saphron builds a digital community where insurance is made accessible to Southeast Asia through the power of Artificial Intelligence.
The Digital era has brought in varied technologies that can-do wonders when used for the right purpose. The ING UNICEF’s ‘Fintech for impact’ initiative is a great example of how these startups’ potential can be explored to bring in positive changes to communities.