Financial Inclusion: Helping Everyone Access the Financial World

(Tristan Thomas) #1

Hi everyone!

This week on our blog we’re doing a series of posts on the topic of Financial Inclusion, and what we can do to help everyone have fair access to banking/financial services.

(Adam Robertson) #2

Sounds great - definitely one of the biggest social challenges as we move to a completely cashless society.

(Only available in amateur ) #3

Lack of traditional ID is the main problem but going by the blog that’s going to be addressed :+1:


There are many who can get traditional ID but don’t want to spend the money, the real problem is those who are having issues getting their ID due to inability to meet the verification criteria. Other documents such as a migrant ID, a seafarers ID, etc could be considered, it is just a matter of educating KYC staff on their design and security features so they are familiar with them and can check their authenticity. However, this has been made harder by the number of different design changes over recent years.

(Andy Little) #5

It’s nice to see a bank thinking about this kind of thing. I opened a savings account online yesterday as was presented with the options of Passport or Driving Licence AND the debit / credit card details from an existing account in my name. These are not documents everyone has, not everyone can afford to drive or travel abroad. I imagine not everyone wants to do one of those two things either.

My wife and I had a issue opening a joint account a few years ago because she had no passport and her driving licence was a provisional. They would not accept a provisional driving licence, only a full licence.

I’m curious how Monzo intend to go about verifying identity, as I believe they are legally required to do so.

(Amelia Ikeda) #6

A provisional licence is absolutely a valid ID document, and the joint account scenario you described should not have happened there (the only difference in the DVLA’s database between a full and provisional licence is a flag that says if it’s a full licence or not for a given category; rejecting provisionals would just be a lack of education for whoever set that policy; a full licence carries no additional guarantees).

Monzo try to use stuff they can automatically verify first (photo ID, stuff backed by third parties, etc), but then seem to fall back to manual verification for edge cases, from what I’ve seen.


…and the criteria used in approving the issue of a provisional license are no less stringent than those for a full license.

(Scott McKinven) #9

Interesting post - I lead on the Financial Inclusion work for a large housing association and would be keen to discuss our work with you.


Can a bank which only has one access channel (and a somewhat expensive access channel at that) be considered accessible?

(Gordon Dack) #11

They certainly do, I only have a valid provisional photo ID as I’ve not bothered to renew my expired passport. I think as long as your provisional license is the photo id version, then it is accepted without any issues.

(Eve) #12

I think mobile phones are quite accessible and not necessarily expensive if you’re not springing for new releases. You can get secondhand smartphones in perfect working condition for under £100, with warranty too. It’s definitely cheaper than buying a computer.

You used to be able to use computers at public libraries for free but I don’t see much of these services anymore- and I doubt it’s secure to use banking services at public computers. I think mobile phones would be the most secure/ cheapest option, getting a UK address might be the bigger barrier vs having a mobile phone.

(Gordon Dack) #13

Not sure why you think the access channel is expensive? You don’t need a top of the range android or apple phone. You can get a decent Android phone circa £50, or less if not new :slight_smile:

As for internet access, most mobile plans even PAYG plans have some form of data access and can be much less than a home broadband line.


But for someone on a fixed/low income that is expensive, compared to a bank branch which is free.

(Gordon Dack) #15

Always assuming that such banks let you have an account in the 1st place, and if so, may be so basic as not to include a debit card etc.


Of course…

When I moved to London a few years ago I broke my phone and I wasn’t able to fix it until I got my next paycheque…I wouldn’t want anyone to be in a similar position and not be able to manage their bank account because of it.

(Only available in amateur ) #17

They’re introducing a very basic web version for exactly this kind of situation


That’s great news!

I think that sometimes we have quite a narrow view of what ‘access’ means.

(Jolin) #19

If you discount the time needed to visit the branch (and their opening hours march your shift patterns) and you don’t need to catch the bus to get there. Needing to go into a branch every time you want to set up a standing order will not feel ‘free’.

Is this a hypothetical concern, or have you come across people for whom a cheap phone and £7/month data plan is more of a burden than visiting a bank branch for all their financial needs?

(Gordon Dack) #20

Of course, and I can see your point of view regarding anyone who is on a low income.


Not many, but I know some. And yes, I do worry about how a world where everything is digital and costs will affect them.

A few of the people I grew up with have had to make decisions about what type of phone they buy because of how much it costs. One would rather pay for their kids to have a phone than have a decent one themselves, and one friend who has a Nokia thats cheap to call back home to his family (i.e. abroad) on so does not have data on it.