Nagad makes it to Inclusive Fintech 50 cohort list for 2020

Inclusive Fintech 50, a group of global organisations driving innovation and investment in financial services for low-income populations, has named Nagad as its top cohort of fintech startups for 2020.

It made the announcement in Washington on Tuesday,  Nagad said in a statement. 

Nagad, Bangladesh Postal Department’s digital financial service, was selected in the payments category from a pool of 403 applications operating in 111 countries.

Inclusive Fintech 50 was founded by MetLife Foundation and Visa, with the support of Accion and the International Finance Corporation, and additional funding from BlackRock and Jersey Overseas Aid & Comic Relief.

This was the second edition of the initiative, which selected the top 50 fintech potential companies from around the globe.

 “We are delighted that a global organisation like Inclusive Fintech 50 has put Nagad on their top global list,” said Tanvir A Mishuk, managing director of Nagad.

“Since the launch of the service, we have been working on the issue of financial inclusion with utmost importance and this is a recognition of our relentless effort,” he said.

“The technology that Nagad is using to financially include millions of unbanked people is undoubtedly the best in the country and the most modern in the world,” he added.

An independent panel of 35 experts from venture capital, technology, and financial services firms identified the most promising startups providing credit, insurance, savings, and other critical products to low-income households and businesses that are particularly vulnerable to financial shocks like the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Along with Nagad, 10 South Asia companies, 10 companies from East Asia & the Pacific, five from Europe & Central Asia, eight from Latin America & the Caribbean, six from North America, and 12 companies from Sub-Saharan Africa were also named on the list.

During the selection process, the top 50 fintech companies were chosen based on four criteria: inclusiveness, innovation, scale potential, and traction.

Terming these companies as 50 high-potential, Inclusive Fintech 50 said these early-staged and innovative fintech startups are driving financial inclusion and resilience for 3 billion financially underserved people worldwide.

Together, these high-potential startups demonstrate the power of financial technology to improve the accessibility, affordability, and convenience of financial services in advanced and emerging markets.

“Innovation in financial services can provide much-needed stability to vulnerable populations by leveraging technology to fill gaps and meet their unique needs,” said Mark Pickens, senior director of social impact at Visa.

“Visa is proud to support fintech innovators helping low-income communities weather the current storm and, importantly, build resilience for the future,” he said.

Brad Jones, CEO of Wave Money and one of the expert judges, said, “The final 50 were selected based on strong product-market fit, the experience of the leadership teams, and their potential to scale and reach underserved populations.”

“The health and economic challenges created by the COVID-19 placed households and businesses on shaky financial footing — especially those who were economically vulnerable before the pandemic,” said Evelyn Stark, who leads financial health at MetLife Foundation.

“Amid the uncertainty, these fintechs demonstrate how new models can improve financial resilience.”

Launched in 2019, Inclusive Fintech 50 identifies and elevates high-potential, early-stage, and innovative fintech startups driving financial inclusion and resilience.

The initiative is implemented by MIX, the global data resource for investors focused on inclusive finance.