ING and UNICEF launch ‘Fintech for Impact’ initiative to support fintech start-ups in Philippines
MANILA, 13 October 2020 — ING Bank and UN children’s agency UNICEF have launched an initiative in the Philippines called ‘Fintech for Impact’ to support start-ups developing digital solutions that aim to empower young people, children and families.
Five start-ups that are building financial technology (fintech) solutions will receive equity-free investments, as well as technical and business mentorship from UNICEF, ING, and other experts for one year.
“In the Philippines, over nine million children live below the poverty line. They not only suffer from poor health and nutrition but also miss out on opportunities later in life such as education, training, work, and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated these existing challenges for the most vulnerable. Health systems are overwhelmed, borders have closed, and families have been struggling to stay afloat,” said UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov.
As the world starts thinking about how to build back better after the pandemic, investments in fintech solutions for the most impacted communities present both challenges and opportunities. New digital financial tools need to be designed responsibly and address the specific needs of young people, children, and families, to help build economic security, encourage more equitable access to services and lift the financial barriers to opportunities for improving their lives.
“Financial services have been expanding quickly. Governments are also pushing for greater inclusivity in financial services including families and young people. Digital financial platforms allow for wider financial services, while providing social protection,” explained ING Philippines country manager, Hans B. Sicat. “This is why we have partnered with UNICEF to help develop fintech solutions by providing an equity-free investment, and mentoring early-stage open source start-ups in the Philippines.”
The investment supports open source solutions that contribute to a growing body of digital public goods that can advance society.
The five start-ups selected are: Agrabah is building a digital platform that connects farmers and fisherfolk directly to buyers and loans, providing them greater autonomy, and their families improved financial resiliency. BeamAndGo is adding to the functionality of their remittance-based platform to help migrant workers (including Overseas Foreign Workers or OFWs) and their families better manage their finances and make responsible spending decisions for the household. Educ4All connects students to educational loans, and will be producing a set of financial education and transition-to-adulthood courses that will guide graduates into meaningful employment and financial stability. Reach52 is expanding their set of apps that provide affordable microinsurance, healthcare and health products to rural communities, as well as livelihood opportunities to local women. Saphron will be empowering grassroots microinsurance agents to collect accurate, efficient data with a powerful new AI-enabled platform. All investments are in open source technology and content, to allow the tools to be adapted and re-used in other contexts.
You can meet the start-ups and follow their progress at www.fintechforimpact.com.
ING is a global financial institution with a strong European base, offering banking services through its operating company ING Bank. The purpose of ING Bank is empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. ING Bank’s more than 55,000 employees offer retail and wholesale banking services to customers in over 40 countries.
ING Group shares are listed on the exchanges of Amsterdam (INGA NA, INGA.AS), Brussels and on the New York Stock Exchange (ADRs: ING US, ING.N).
Sustainability forms an integral part of ING’s strategy, evidenced by ING’s leading position in sector benchmarks by Sustainalytics and MSCI and our ‘A-list’ rating by CDP. ING Group shares are included in major sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) index products of leading providers STOXX, Morningstar and FTSE Russell.
About ING in Asia
In Asia Pacific, ING offers wholesale banking across 13 markets, namely Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
ING offers both retail and wholesale banking services in Australia. The bank also started its digital banking platform in the Philippines in 2018. ING’s regional presence includes a 13% stake in Bank of Beijing, China and a 30% stake in TMB Bank, Thailand.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfil their potential.
Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in the Philippines, visit www.unicef.ph.