Mercy Corps: Leveraging the Potential of Fintech To Accelerate Financial Inclusion in Emerging Markets

Among the founding ideas for Ripple is to expand global financial inclusion for everyone—not just those in wealthy nations. The existing financial system is antiquated, broken and poorly designed to serve the needs of those in emerging markets, which are too often overlooked by financial service providers. As the pandemic spurs an increasing shift toward digital payments, the number of those without access to affordable financial services is only growing. There is much at stake.

Through Ripple Impact, Ripple partners with innovative NGOs, universities and industry partners to bring the 1.7B unbanked adults into a modernized, global financial system that leverages the promise of financial technology. 

Today, Ripple is proud to announce a $10 million USD contribution to Mercy Corps to expand financial inclusion and increase economic empowerment globally. 

Among NGOs, Mercy Corps is a proven leader in creating economic opportunities for vulnerable populations through the application of new and innovative technology. Last year alone, Mercy Corps’ programs helped nearly 28 million people and its impact investing arm, Mercy Corps Ventures, invests in and partners with innovative social entrepreneurs to scale solutions to the world’s most persistent challenges, including financial exclusion.

In partnership with Ripple and Rippleworks—a nonprofit co-founded by Chris Larsen that supports social ventures across multiple sectors—Mercy Corps Ventures will support solutions that leverage digital financial technologies—such as distributed ledgers, digital assets and cryptocurrencies—to bring large numbers of people in emerging markets into the global economy over a three-year initiative. Already, Ripple has been working with Mercy Corps Ventures to define pilots and invest in early-stage fintech startups in the Global South and Latin America. Ripple’s contribution will also be used to support the education of Mercy Corps’ field staff working to address the financial challenges faced in these regions and apply digital financial solutions. In doing so, Mercy Corps aims to reach 10 million people in the next decade. 

“The existing financial system is fragmented, antiquated, and exclusionary–leaving 1.7B people unbanked and disproportionately excluding women. Emerging fintech, crypto and blockchain technologies have the potential to radically transform it, but there are substantial risks for the world’s most vulnerable people if their needs are not taken into consideration as these new technologies are designed and deployed,” said Scott Onder, Senior Managing Director at Mercy Corps Ventures. “We are going to leverage our global resources and reach to ensure community voices are heard and vulnerable populations are not left behind in the fintech revolution. “ 

Ripple and Rippleworks’ contribution will also support the launch of FinX, a joint initiative by Mercy Corps Ventures and Mercy Corps to reimagine the existing financial system and build a coalition committed to ensuring this new system is inclusive for the un- and underbanked populations.

Today’s partnership is an important step in Ripple’s long-term commitment to achieving global financial inclusion. Ripple is proud to collaborate with innovators like Mercy Corps and merge our expertise building financial products with the market insights and expertise of an effective global development organization and its network of mission-driven entrepreneurs. 

To learn more about how Ripple is accelerating financial inclusion, visit Ripple Impact.

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