The Global Underbanked: Opportunities and Challenges

The Global Underbanked: Opportunities and Challenges


Rapidly improving regulatory frameworks and technological development are now at a point where the potential of the underbanked segment can actually be realized. Individual markets are at vastly different stages of development, however.


  • Discover which are the most attractive underbanked markets for entry.
  • Acquire a better understanding of the underbanked population's needs.
  • Consider the regulatory environment of underbanked markets.
Reasons To Buy
  • Who and where are the underbanked?
  • What are their specific needs and requirements?
  • How can providers engage with this segment?
  • What should providers consider when entering an underbanked market?
Key Highlights

Marketing products and services that promote financial individualism runs directly counter to the social obligations within underbanked families and communities. Financial hardship may be experienced by an individual, but overcoming challenges are only accomplished by reliance on collective contribution.

When evaluating markets for entry, priority should be given to those with more conducive regulatory frameworks, rather than looking at the sheer scale of customers.

Strategies that focus on regulatory environments place providers in an advantageous position in terms of costs, product and service development, and operations.

  • Executive Summary
    • Critical success factors
  • Introduction
    • Global access to financial services is improving
  • Consumer Insight
    • Underbanked doesn't mean financially ignorant
    • Liquidity
      • Gold addresses both short-term liquidity and long-term investment needs
    • Flexibility
      • The more flexible financial products and services are, the less price-sensitive the underbanked are likely to be
    • Risk diversification
      • Family and community are most important to underbanked consumers
  • Regulatory Enablers and Disablers
    • Customer acquisition
      • Regulatory frameworks that require branches to verify any part of KYC account opening procedures present an operational impediment
    • Customer verification procedures
      • Customer acquisition will be easier in countries that enforce a national ID system or Customer Due Diligence procedures
    • Agents
      • Regulatory frameworks that do not directly regulate agents as standalone entities are inadvertently placing restrictions on their use
    • Attractive ecosystems
      • Digital financial ecosystems are increasing the potential for higher margins
  • Index Analysis
    • Table High-potential markets
  • India's emerging underbanked financial ecosystem
  • Conclusions
    • Points of exploration
    • Key takeaways
  • Appendix
    • Abbreviations and acronyms
    • Definitions
      • Unbanked
      • Underbanked
      • Financial inclusion
      • Informal financial services
    • Methodology
    • Bibliography
    • Further reading

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