Viewpoint: What developing countries can teach America about banking

Monday, October 29, 2018

By Kai Keller, Peter Varnam

For decades, the US has led the way in helping other countries develop. Whether it’s been through USAID programs like Farmer-to-Farmer, educational programs like Fulbright scholarships, or volunteer activities like the Peace Corps.
But the tables have turned — at least, when it comes to advances in financial inclusion. Countries like Kenya and Vietnam have been leapfrogging the US. While tens of millions of Americans remain unbanked or underbanked, these countries are rapidly developing modern financial systems, introducing millions to services previously unavailable to them.
Of course, emerging market environments differ dramatically from mature markets like the United States, and solutions cannot be simply copy-pasted from one market to another. But given the rate of progress in each of these countries, it is worthwhile to look at how they did it and where the US may be falling short.
Photo courtesy of Neil Palmer.
financial inclusion