JP Morgan-CIIE to set up Financial Inclusion Lab

Mumbai: J.P Morgan, a global banking and financial services provider, along with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) on Tuesday announced a collaboration to set up a Financial Inclusion Lab.

The initiative, estimated to cost around USD 9.5 million, aims at identifying and bringing to scale early-stage FinTech start-ups that focus on helping people in India within the lower and middle income (LMI) segment. The start-ups would enable access and usage of services such as savings, credit, and insurance to lower and middle-income households.

The Financial Inclusion Lab is part of the IIMA-CIIE’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII), launched in May. The initiative aims to incubate and support start-ups focused on developing technologies that could be used for the benefit of communities that lacked appropriate livelihoods, financial, health, and education facilities.

Apart from J.P. Morgan, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are also supporting the Lab as part of their commitment to BII.

The Lab would draw insights and learnings from the work performed by the J.P. Morgan Chase-funded Financial Solution Lab, an initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation. For the past four years, the initiative has supported the development and scaling of FinTech solutions and has also improved the financial health of underserved communities in the USA.

“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 that are in urgent need of these financial products and services. 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,” said Chief Executive Officer, South and South East Asia, J.P. Morgan Kalpana Morparia
The initiative would also obtain insights from MicroSave, an international financial inclusion consulting firm, and CIIE.

A recent research conducted by the CIIE and MicroSave revealed that LMI households have erratic financial inflows and many in the LMI segment struggle to adopt digital platforms for their financial needs.

Associate Director of MicroSave, Anil Gupta said, “Over 80 per cent 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.”

To identify solutions for specific financial challenges the lab would host a series of accelerator programs. Start-up capital, market access, technical assistance, mentoring, and sector expertise support would be given to the leading ideas. (ANI)