It is no surprise to anyone to say that the financial industry it was for decades – if not centuries – exclusive. It is not that there was an active intention to exclude vulnerable populations from its range of products and services, rather, the very structure of the sector privileged very specific demographic groups for a long time. Above all, paying particular attention to those who, from the outset, already had access to education and financial services; thus inadvertently creating spirals of inequality that only increased with the passing of the years.
Within this universe of exclusion, little by little considerable efforts have been made for financial institutions to reach sectors of the population that have historically been overlooked: from women and the LGBTQ+ community; to micro and small entrepreneurs.
But in the conversation about making financial services more inclusive, a relevant demographic is often forgotten: people with some form of disability.
without forgetting anyone
According to the most recent census of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), In Mexico there are more than 6 million people with some type of disability, which represents almost 5% of the total population of the country. The types of disability that are registered in these terms are auditory, intellectual, visual, physical, visual and even psychosocial. And it cannot be forgotten that multiple combinations can also be given.
In this context, it is worth asking how inclusive financial services are and how financial institutions are reaching out to these sectors of the population. Despite the fact that there is still much to be done, the reality is that considerable progress has been made in recent years; particularly, to the extent that the fintech subsector has expanded the offer of products and, above all, the access that can be had to them from the comfort of a device anywhere and at any time.
A good part of the fintech applications and platforms have been able to articulate services that, from the outset, are inclusive in visual, auditory and even physical terms.
Consider that it is no longer necessary for a person to go to a bank to carry out a procedure or contract a service, when the user experience is truly complete and totally digital.
The entire design of these products is aimed at making their use simple and dynamic, so that anyone can access these services without much hassle.
Pending tasks regarding inclusion
But inclusion in the financial sector is not reduced to anything more than the layout and audiovisual configuration of a platform. In fact, to the extent that fintechs have opted to democratize financial education and support in contracting services, users with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities can also be added, spaces that traditional financial institutions have not turned to see.
The challenges that remain are multiple. But to the extent that the financial industry is willing to design products and services focused on the multi-user experience—with near-universal and flexible access—all the steps will be right and go beyond lip service. ”.
A sector can be consolidated with responsible, empathetic and supportive institutions. It is well worth filling those gaps left by the bank and betting on fully inclusive services.
Sebastian Medrano Economist and expert in Fintech issues. Head of Growth for E-commerce & Financial Services at Coppel Sa de Cv. He has worked in brands such as Linio, Propiedades.com, Coru and Alpha Credit. More than 10 years of experience in financial services