Having access to a financial account is, in itself, the first step toward broader financial inclusion. It opens up gateways for individuals to participate in their economy, from basic payments transactions and sending or receiving money to saving, borrowing, or lending to the more complex investment activities. However, as the World Bank Group has found, “access” does not always translate to “usage,” which is the real measure of an inclusive economy where anyone with a transaction account can participate in financial transactions. In NBU countries, that participation is stifled by different challenges.
For the likes of Brazilian economist Marcos Túlio Ramos, the challenge lies in the traditional financial institutions’ insufficient and outdated credit models, something that Marcos took upon himself to find solutions to. He formed a consultancy firm that focused on addressing what he regards as an “imbalance in information in the credit decision process, which caused high failure rates in institutions and the frustration of many clients.” When he started offering his assistance online, the start-up EasyCrédito was born — a platform that connects people who need credit with companies that offer loan financing and card options based on an algorithm that analyzes each profile and increases the chances of consumers having their credit approved. (Read his story here).