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Financial Inclusion: Helping everyone access the financial world

Heart made out of coral cards

Nearly two million adults in the UK don’t have a bank account and nearly a quarter of the world’s population are unbanked. A House of Lords report from early 2017 said the following:

At the most basic level, a bank account is used for paying bills and receiving income; access to a bank account is also usually a pre-requisite for gaining employment and receiving social security benefits. Access to savings and affordable credit is an important factor in allowing people to meet unexpected expenses, while conscientious provision for retirement relies upon pension products

Not having access to financial services today puts you at a significant disadvantage in society and often means you pay more, save less and can’t access basic services needed to live. This is unacceptable.

Traditionally, banking has been inflexible when it comes to helping people get current accounts. It can feel like a never-ending battle to gather all of the right pieces of paper that prove you are who you say you are in a way that’ll satisfy a bank. And that’s just to get on the first step of the financial ladder.

We want to change that. Technology offers us a chance to connect with those who have previously been excluded, to support them in getting access to the financial world and opening doors that were previously closed. 93% of adults have a mobile phone and and more than 75% have access to broadband, with both of those numbers always increasing, but we also need to reach those who don’t have a phone and don’t have easy access to the internet.

This week, we’re publicly kicking off the early stages of our work on financial inclusion, a project we want to grow and develop over the coming weeks and months. Our recent work on helping people with mental health needs is one part of this. This is just the beginning though. We want to do more and we need your help.

What should we be focusing on? Where can we help and support? What are the missing pieces? We’d love to hear your ideas, suggestions, introductions and thoughts on where we can have the most impact — join this community forum discussion or tweet us @monzo and join the conversation.

If we want to reach one billion customers around the world, we need to make banking accessible for everyone, not just those with money, means or connections. Helping people become a part of financial society will have a profound and lasting impact for generations to come and we want to play a key role in that going forward.