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Driving Financial Inclusion Through Card Processing Technology

Card issuers are pivotal in promoting financial inclusion through technology. Mobile devices have played a significant role, with smartphones becoming universal. Advances like iris and fingerprint biometrics further ease access to accounts, contributing to a global increase in banking.

Driving Financial Inclusion Through Card Processing Technology

Card issuers play a pivotal role in advancing financial inclusivity, leveraging technological progress to meet evolving needs. Technology has long been instrumental in enhancing financial access, particularly in underserved communities. As early as 2013, mobile devices surpassed traditional bank accounts in developing nations, facilitating billions in monthly transactions through mobile money services.

The increase in smartphones has continued, with 54% of the global population owning these devices. This surge in mobile technology has contributed to increased financial inclusion, aided by innovations like iris and fingerprint biometrics. By 2022, 76% of adults worldwide had either a bank or mobile account, marking a significant rise from just 51% in 2011.

To further promote inclusivity, financial institutions must utilise technology to dismantle barriers. For instance, individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community may face challenges and discrimination in financial transactions due to discrepancies between their chosen and legal names.
Changing one's name and gender on official documents can be difficult and expensive. Therefore, offering products and services that accommodate chosen first names without necessitating a legal name change is crucial for fostering inclusion. Platforms like True Name® from Mastercard facilitate this inclusivity, accommodating cardholders across various service points, including in-person, online, and over the phone.

Institutions should consider their ability to attract and include younger generations in their customer base. Digital-native Gen Z consumers have high expectations of the banking experience, demanding seamless digital-first card capabilities. Since many Gen Zers rely on debit cards, institutions must prioritise mobile payment solutions to meet their needs.

By offering convenient and secure payment options through smartphones, institutions can gather valuable digital data to tailor loyalty programs and offerings. Embracing tech-driven omnichannel services appeals not only to Gen Z but also to older demographics transitioning to digital platforms.

Digital card processing capabilities hold the potential to benefit customers of all ages and backgrounds, embodying the essence of inclusion in financial services. By leveraging technology and prioritising customer-centric solutions, card issuers can contribute significantly to creating a more inclusive financial ecosystem.

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