This interview is part of a series of interviews featuring Fintech influencers who are doing work that advances our efforts in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
LATTICE80, in collaboration with FinTech4Good, presents the complete list of Top 100 Fintech for SDG Influencers who are leveraging the power of fintech and blockchain technology to create a positive impact on the future. LATTICE80 is launching our accelerator programme based in Hong Kong to help SDG-focused startups build blockchain solutions. Are you a SDG-focused startup? Click here to indicate your interest.
Disclaimer: The interviews are published on a rolling basis and the order by which they are published by no means representative of any rankings.
This article features an interview with Kaiser Naseem, Banking and Digital Transformation Advisory Services, and one of our Top 100 Fintech for SDG Influencers.
1. Tell us more about what you do and how your role or project is making an impact. How do they support the SDGs?
Our mission is to alleviate poverty globally by enabling private sector to develop and grow, thus creating employment opportunities. My work is specifically in the finance and banking sector, where I assist institutions to build capacity to be able to reach out to small and medium businesses and to the unbanked; in short ensure that every adult on the planet is included into the formal financial sector and has access to banking and financial services. This is in line with SDG #1, which speaks about ending poverty.
2. Why do you see Fintech and/or Blockchain in particular as an important enabler in creating a social impact?
Today, digital technology provides an excellent opportunity for financial institutions to better and more efficiently offer banking and finance services by leveraging appropriate technology strategically and responsibly. We are seeing more and more collaboration between fintechs and banks in this regard. A major segment of the economy in many countries is agriculture. Unfortunately, this is also a sector that is neglected by banks for outreach, as the risk for them is one that they are not able to assess adequately. Today, fintech and agritech provides Banks with the necessary tools to assess this risk (and much more) thus enabling small farmers to also be included in their banking and finance offerings. This addresses SDG#2 on food security. My work also involves ensuring that women are equal participants in economic activities and have access to necessary financing and other services for them to contribute to society (SDG#5).
3. What are some challenges you face along the way?
In terms of leveraging technology, the main challenge is being able to do it properly (i.e. strategically) and responsibly. This is a major concern, especially when it entails collecting and using data. The other challenge is that of security – keeping data safe and fighting cyber-crime.
4. What more do you think is needed in the ecosystem to support and facilitate creating a greater social impact?
The most important mechanism for a conducive eco-system is proper governance, and the right regulatory framework that is not too restrictive but at the same time not lax either. This balance is important. The other area that needs to be worked on is awareness and financial literacy for the users of technology.
5. What do you hope to see or achieve in 10 years time?
In ten years I hope to see technology having enabled all adults globally not only having a bank account but also using that account for various transactions (making payments, receiving funds, obtaining loans, getting advice on how to run their businesses and market their products, etc.). This is when economic development will keep pace with the growing demands of society and be able to sustain the livelihoods of all citizens in every country.