In success stories, we profile some of the key stories in Fintech and payments this month, focusing on areas of growth, resilience and innovation.
Here’s this month’s dose of positivity, featuring improvements to accessibility and service optimisation, environmental investment tools, and a fresh look at female finance in Africa.
PensionBee streamlines retirement savings with Plaid Open Banking connection
Pension contributions are typically slow, paper intensive and complicated, something that PensionBee is aiming to solve with it’s new app. The company estimates that it has transformed the two week process of setting up direct debits to instantaneous Via Plaid’s platform.
In the future the company hopes customers will be able to use its product as a central financial hub, viewing pension contributions alongside external financial accounts, along with real-time insights to help grow retirement savings.
The system will be able to also detect new jobs, allowing all pensions to be consolidated into one PensionBee pot. Initiatives such as this drastically increase the accessibility of savings and investments, empowering those struggling to prepare for the future with the power to plan.
Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge
CommBank trial demonstrates the use of digital nudges to improve financial wellbeing
Planning, along with real-time insight is key for any investors financial future, something a recent CBA trial has investigated with tax refunds. Commonwealth Bank’s chief data & analytics Officer, Dr Andrew McMullan wanted to empower consumers with information, as many look to tax rebates as windfall gain rather than a part of regular income that should be treated responsibly.
As part of the research, CBA customers who frequently incurred credit card interest were prompted to think about how they could best use their annual tax refund. Other messages included credit card repayment reminders, information showing the benefits of reducing outstanding debts such as savings on interest and avoiding late fees.
Customers who engaged with the prompts repaid an average of $541 more in the month following their tax refund a resounding success for the trial. This new technology has now been released to the CommBank app, allowing all consumers free financial advice to aid real-time decisions.
Mastercard introduces accessible card design for visually impaired
Mastercard has implemented a new Touch Card line for the visually impaired, using a system of shaped notches to allow consumers to differentiate between credit, debit and pre-paid cards. As many card designs are becoming physically nondescript this is a timely move towards accessibility.
“The Touch Card will provide a greater sense of security, inclusivity and independence to the 2.2 billion people around the world with visual impairments,“ says Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer.
The concept has been thoroughly tested and endorsed by The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK and VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the US.
Nature-positive project investment and a new climate index
Accelar has launched a Nature Finance Impact Hub, designed to boost market confidence in nature-positive projects, by pinpointing their financial and environmental benefits.
The hub will address lack of comparable data and nature-positive project performance, by facilitating access to benchmarks and data from existing projects, enabling comparable financial and environmental metrics.
TP Lcap has initiated a similar venture, increasing availability of and access to reliable climatic data, to enable investors to better appreciate and manage risks when hedging decisions concerning green finance.
The index, developed and maintained by Speedwell, takes a representation of the average global temperature based on data taken from 50 independent, national weather stations from around the world.
Y’ello Female Future
African Development Bank Partners With YDFS to Pioneer Nigerian Women in Fintech
Economic, religious, and social factors have prevented many northern Nigerian women from accessing money. The African Development Bank has signed a grant agreement for $500,000 with Y’ello Digital Financial Services (YDFS) in order to research and combat barriers to female finance.
Political instability and conservative cultural norms in parts of the region are thought to present barriers to women’s access to finance, as well as 80% of agents positions being held by men.
The research will feature female-focused design and testing, investigating agents and customers to provide insights into women’s use of mobile money services.
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