FINCA International and USAID PACE have launched a fintech innovation platform that aims to bring early-stage fintechs and microfinance institutions (MFIs) together.
The platform will help accelerate financial inclusion and market-based development.
FINCA Forward is a two-year pilot funded by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative and Feed the Future (FTF), which will be managed by microfinance organisation FINCA International.
The purpose of the platform is to test the hypothesis that, bringing early-stage fintechs and financial institutions together in a proof-of-concept (POC) environment can help small and growing businesses (SGBs) overcome the pioneer gap and enable MFIs and banks to affordably and systematically onboard emerging fintech innovations that will expand reach to underserved and underbanked populations.
FINCA Forward will give fintech startups the opportunity to test and refine their products through MFIs established customer base and engage with prospective clients.
Rupert Scofield, President and CEO of FINCA International, said the organisation had long been dedicated to serving unbanked and underbanked populations.
“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,” he said.
“By catalysing support and investment for early-stage fintech enterprises, we aim to help small and growing businesses overcome the pioneer gap and to enable microfinance institutions to bring much-needed financial services to at-risk populations of women, youth and the rural poor.”