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  • Writer's pictureCurtis Bantjes

How to make digital products and services more inclusive?

The challenge is that that smart products and services are often not inclusive to all consumers. If you are a student paying your own way though tertiary education and/or earning minimum wage, products such as Netflix, UBER and are not likely to be in your wheel house as you either may not qualify for a credit card.

There is in my opinion a huge opportunity for Financial Services to develop smart applications to help manage your finances, budget and/or optimize your spending. Loyalty programs have been successfully been used by banks to earn spendable loyalty points while they promote their products and services. Imagine offering consumers a free bank account where the bank pays you to participate in good financial practices like budgeting and responsible spending and in doing so you allow the bank to use your personal information with its partners to further help you with offers and discounts tailored to emerging “credit active” and digital citizens.

In an ideal world you want to use smart apps to develop more credit worthy consumers to stimulate their local economy and contribute themselves offer their own products and services to all. That being said; UBER and TAXIFY are empowering many young men and women with little more than willingness to work and a driver’s license to partner with a car owner to earn money. This could be further applied to all kinds of work. Jobber is an example of a platform to pitch jobs and find jobs. Mobile networks should be offering free data to platforms like these to make this more accessible.

In South Africa FNB (First National Bank) is in a prime position to do this as they offer mobile solutions with banking solutions however their competitor, Capitec in cornering that mass market we want to uplift. In conclusion there is a need to educate and offer mobile and financial tools to the mass market operating below the poverty line to uplift themselves and become working, credit active and tax paying members of society.

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