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Fintechs can tap microfinance clients with new Finca International platform

Fintech startups will be able to test their value propositions with prospective clients looking for microfinance, with the launch of an innovation platform by US-based microfinance organisation Finca International.

Finca International announced the launch of the platform, Finca Forward — which is a two-year pilot funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) — last Thursday (4 October). The platform will facilitate the collaboration between early-stage fintech enterprises and microfinance institutions supporting the world’s poor.

In a statement last week, Finca International CEO and president Rupert Scofield said the non-profit organisation has long been dedicated to serving both unbanked and underbanked populations.

Finca Forward will bring early-stage fintechs and microfinance institutions together to accelerate financial inclusion and market-based development

“Finca Forward represents the next step in this service, drawing on our experience as the founder of a global microfinance network while embracing digital innovations,” said Scofield.

Scofield added that by catalysing support and investment for early-stage fintech enterprises the platform aims to help small and growing businesses overcome “the pioneer gap”. He added that the platform will also enable microfinance institutions to bring much-needed financial services to at-risk populations of women, youth and the rural poor.

Through the Finca Forward platform, microfinance institutions can systematically evaluate new technologies — while fintech startups can test their value propositions with prospective clients, by way of a microfinance institution’s established customer base.

The innovation platform will incorporate a gender lens focus on products and channels designed specifically for female microfinance as well as on women-owned and women-led fintech enterprises.

Read more: ‘Three decades of microfinance key to social investing – Finca Ventures head