Press Release – MetLife Foundation and Visa, with partners Accion and IFC, launch inaugural list to help fintech companies attract capital and resources to benefit the 3 billion financially underserved people globally 

Pakistani fintech startup Tez Financial services has been selected as one of the 2019 #InclusiveFintech50 out of 400 applicants!

The winners of Inclusive Fintech 50 were announced on June 17th by MetLife Foundation and Visa Inc., with global nonprofit Accion and World Bank Group member IFC.

This competition was launched in February to help early-stage fintech companies attract capital and resources to benefit the world’s 3 billion financially underserved people.

The 50 winners – which were selected from 400 eligible applicants – demonstrate the power of financial technology to expand access, usage, and quality of financial services in advanced and emerging markets. Tez was the only Pakistani startup to have qualified for competition. Approximately 30 percent of the winners provide credit products to underserved segments including MSMEs, and approximately 25 percent offer infrastructure solutions like biometrics software that enable financial institutions to expand access to previously excluded groups. Fintechs offering insurance, payments & remittances services, and savings & personal financial management tools each made up approximately 15 percent of the winners.

Marianne Mwaniki, Head of Social Impact at Visa, Inc. said,

Existing research indicates that investment capital has largely overlooked early-stage and inclusive fintechs in several markets”
This group of winners makes clear that there are high-potential startups with viable products and business models – and they’re ready for investment.

Nearly 70 percent of the winners are pre-Series A, yet these startups already exhibit strong product-market fit and traction, as demonstrated by their combined 8 million customers. In terms of geographic distribution, nearly one-third operate in more than one region, and another third operate exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa. Twenty percent of the selected fintechs operate exclusively in South Asia, and 8 percent each in North America and East Asia & the Pacific. The remainder comes from Latin America & the Caribbean and MENA.

“Inclusive Fintech 50 demonstrates that there are lesser-known fintechs able to reach underserved populations with appropriate financial products,” said Sarah Willis, Director of Financial Health & Inclusion at MetLife Foundation. “We want to support startups that are addressing the holistic needs of these target segments with the ultimate goal of improving their financial health.”

Tez Financial Services Limited (TFS), is Pakistan’s first fully-digital financial institution. Aspiring to be a full-stack bank, TFS launched its first product Tez Advance, a nano-credit scheme that lends to the un- and under-banked. The founders were leading forces in the creation of Tameer Bank, Easypaisa, and CheckIn Solutions. TFS leverages machine learning algorithms that use customers’ digital footprints, social behaviors, and consumption patterns to service thin-file or no-file customers. To better reach rural customers, TFS partnered with several branchless banking players to create the largest combined branchless banking agent network in the country. TFS is also building a similar network to launch new products for the mass market.

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