JP Morgan sets up lab for financial inclusion in India
JP Morgan and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) are setting up a Financial Inclusion Lab.
The $9.5 million initiative aims to help fintech start-ups focused on helping people in India within the lower and middle income (LMI) segment who earn $2-$10 a day.
“India’s vision of creating digital technology driven access to financial services will be incomplete unless we bring these offerings to the lower and middle income segments who are in urgent need of these financial products and services,” says Kalpana Morparia, CEO, South and South East Asia, JP Morgan.
She adds: “Our initiative aims to identify and nurture fintech start-ups to generate innovative ideas which will help make financial products and services more accessible to this critical mass of Indians.”
The lab is part of IIMA-CIIE’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII), a programme launched in May to support start-ups developing technologies for the benefit of underserved communities in the areas of livelihoods, financial inclusion, health and education.
JP Morgan will provide up to $7 million over the next four years towards this initiative – the biggest “philanthropic” commitment by the bank so far outside of the US.
By philanthropic, one would understand that JP Morgan is not interested in leveraging this tech for business purposes.
The lab will draw insights from the JP Morgan-funded Financial Solutions Lab, a five-year programme launched in the US in 2014, which has since supported the development of fintech solutions for underserved communities in the US.
The initiative will also glean insights from financial inclusion consulting firm MicroSave and CIIE on where and how fintechs can help the LMI segment.
“Over 80% of the addressable LMI market, or 470 million people, are not integrated into the economic mainstream. Early stage fintechs, when provided with the right mentoring, insights and capital support, can have a huge and positive impact on the lives of many people,” says Anil Gupta, associate director, MicroSave.
In the past, JP Morgan partnered two banks to launch the Interbank Information Network (IIN) – using blockchain for the payments process.
In the US, earlier this year JP Morgan Chase unleashed a five-year $20 billion investment plan that includes 400 new branches, 4,000 jobs and an increase in staff wages.
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