Fintech is doing good in our messed up world

Don't underestimate fintech. It's an incredible force for social good
Monika Liikamaa & Denise Johansson
Monika and Denise

In the whirlwind of finance and technology, fintech often gets cast as a driving force of innovation and profit. But peel back the layers, and you'll find something more profound: fintech is fundamentally about people. As the Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Enfuce, a Finnish-born card issuing and processing pioneer, we've seen first-hand how fintech can be a force for good and the transformative potential it holds in creating a more inclusive and equitable society. It's time we focus the conversation on recognising fintech for what it truly is: a beacon of hope and catalyst for progress in our chaotic world.

Casting safety nets for the most vulnerable

Fintech isn't just about numbers, algorithms, and transactions. It’s about touching lives, addressing some of the world’s greatest injustices, and leveraging technology for the greater good.

Prepaid or spend controlled payment cards, for example, offer vulnerable groups vital lifelines where traditional banking services fall short. Take refugees, arriving in a foreign country needing urgent help buying food, hygiene products and other essential items, but can’t access traditional banking services. Cash is difficult and expensive for aid organisations to distribute. Plus, it isn’t accepted everywhere in this day and age, and there’s a risk of the money getting into the wrong hands.

Aid organisations can leverage prepaid cards loaded with funds to distribute money immediately and safely to those who need it. That aid can be maximised by limiting card usage to approved shops and controlling ATM withdrawal, ensuring aid reaches the right person, for the right things that can truly help build new foundations. All in all, they’re making the settlement process easier, simpler and more dignified for refugees.

Following the fall-out from the conflict in Ukraine, we released our humanitarian ‘First Aid’ card. Harnessing our Card-as-a-Service solution, our team, with Visa and Welcome.Place, distributed prepaid payment cards to Ukrainian refugees arriving in France, where over 70,000 people migrated in search of safety, so we know first-hand how impactful prepaid cards can be.

In a world where people fall through the cracks in traditional banking services, prepaid cards become a lifeline, ensuring accessibility and dignity for vulnerable groups in their time of need.

Getting up close and personal with financial criminals

Fintech’s impact goes beyond humanitarian aid. It’s also at the forefront of the battle against financial crime and exploitation. As payment providers we play a crucial role in combating harmful and illegal activities from money laundering to fraud and human trafficking.

By leveraging advanced analytics and machine learning, we detect and prevent fraudulent activities before their impacts can be felt. Whether it’s a suspicious transaction or a potential case of identity theft, fintechs need to be on the case 24/7.

Fintech holds the responsibility to build sophisticated fraud detection systems to identify potentially harmful activity and block fraudulent transactions. Thanks to the high-tech wizardry and innovation within the space, our money remains protected against fraud, and the bad guys are taken down.

A lot goes on behind the scenes to ensure we can keep these capabilities up. No two money-laundering schemes are the same, and fraudsters are growing increasingly crafty and cunning by the day. Fintechs are continually enhancing systems to stay ahead in this ever-evolving landscape, sharing knowledge about, and maintaining compliance with, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing developments, and updating our policies and procedures to align with emerging financial crime trends.

Fraud prevention isn't just about protecting a single business or individual. It's also about keeping our streets safe from those who want to cause trouble. In the constant battle against crime and exploitation, it takes monitoring millions of transactions annually to maintain a safe and secure digital payment system.

Offering everyone a seat at the table

In a world where traditional banking can feel exclusive and intimidating, fintech holds the power to break down barriers and create more equal opportunities for people to take control of their financial futures, whether they’re tech-savvy or total novices.

The finance world is plagued with confusing jargon and complicated interfaces. This shuts out certain groups, especially those with low financial literacy, leaving them in the dark about the products that are available to them.

The fintech world is leading the charge in democratising access to the digital economy and driving financial inclusion, crafting innovative products and services for everyone. We’ve decided to simplify our interfaces and ditch the jargon, offering a more accessible pathway to the digital economy that serves everyone’s needs.

By making financial services accessible and tailoring products to diverse needs, fintech is forging a fairer banking system where no one's left behind and everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive.

Powering a better future, one transaction at a time

It’s time to acknowledge fintech's immense potential to continue driving positive change and give it the credit it deserves. By marrying profit with purpose and harnessing the industry's remarkable innovation, we can shape a world that's stronger, kinder, and fairer. Because in a world gone mad, fintech can be the agent of good we desperately need.

Written by
Monika Liikamaa & Denise Johansson
Written by
May 7, 2024