Ana Paula Picasso who podcasts Emerging Markets Today allowed me to delve into financial inclusion, payment infrastructure, digital wallets, and the token economy.
I continue to challenge the notion of financial inclusion, stating that it is not as benevolent as it is often portrayed. Most players in the financial inclusion space aim to on-board the unbanked and underbanked into the traditional banking industry, and then monetise them. But notable examples, such as Grameen Bank and BRAC Bank in Bangladesh, have demonstrated for us the essence of grassroots financial systems that prioritise sustainability and community involvement. We need to go back to basics.
We also explored the realm of payment infrastructure innovation, particularly in Africa. Payments at the end of the day is a piece of information that we transact just like sending a text message. If a text can be free, so can a payment. The rise of digital wallets in countries like Brazil and Indonesia and their impact on financial services and e-commerce platforms gives us a sense of how the mighty deposit business will be transformed in the near future.
Finally, I examined the token economy and underscored the importance of transitioning from an inflationary model to a utility-based one. The challenges faced by decentralised finance and the evolving role of intermediaries in the crypto world were also addressed during our insightful exchange.
Listen to the episode: