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Dhaka Tribune

Nagad makes it to ‘Inclusive Fintech 50 cohort’ for 2020

Nagad was selected in the payments category from a pool of 403 applications operating in 111 countries

Update : 22 Oct 2020, 06:47 PM

Inclusive Fintech 50, a well-reputed group of global organizations driving innovation and investment in financial services for low-income populations, has named Bangladesh Postal Department’s digital financial service Nagad as its top cohort of fintech startups for 2020.

The announcement came on Tuesday in Washington.

Nagad, the fastest growing mobile financial service in Bangladesh, 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 from Accion and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), 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.

About this recognition, Tanvir A Mishuk, Managing Director of Nagad, said, “We are delighted that global organization like Inclusive Fintech 50 has put Nagad on their top global list. 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. 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. Inclusive Fintech 50’s recognition also testifies our technological innovation in payments and transactions. I believe that such international recognition will make Nagad more motivated to work for the people of the country. This will also push forward the country to establish a cash-less society.”

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 Asian companies, 10 companies from East Asia and the Pacific, five from Europe as well as Central Asia, eight from Latin America and the Caribbean, six from North America, and 12 companies from Sub-Saharan Africa were also named in 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, social impact at Visa, Inc.

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

Brad Jones, CEO of Wave Money and one of the expert judges, said that 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, she added.

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

MIX, the global data resource for investors focused on inclusive finance, implements the initiative.

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