Tuesday, December 7

‘Santander X global Challege’ seeks solutions to guarantee access to banking services

Santander X Global Challenge / Finance For All is already underway. Startups and scaleups of 11 countries (Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, USA, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Poland, United Kingdom and Uruguay) participate in this global challenge aimed at the entrepreneurial community to seek innovative solutions with great growth potential that guarantee the access to banking products and services for the whole of society.

Santander Bank poses three challenges for participants:

  • Finance for Youth: solutions that help improve product offerings and expand financial opportunities for young people, helping them access education and generally prosper.
  • Finance for Elderly: projects that help to help the elderly population, already retired, adopt digital banking solutions through a more transparent, fluid and personalized experience.
  • Finance for Unbanked: facilitate access and use of financial products among those outside the financial system.

Entrepreneurs work on solutions that meet at least one of these three goals. A group of international experts will evaluate the projects and select the 20 finalists, who will present their initiatives. From there the six winners will come out, which will be known on December 14 at an event that will be broadcast on streaming through Santander’s corporate website (www.santander.com). The three startups that win the prize will receive 10,000 euros each for the development of their projects, while in the case of the scaleups they will receive 30,000 euros.

In addition, the six winners will have access to the new elite community of entrepreneurship called SX100. This platform launched by Santander X Its objective is to promote innovation as a driver of productivity and employment and, therefore, of economic growth. SX100 connects the best and most innovative startups and scaleups with the resources they need to grow. The bank has the collaboration of the Oxentia Foundation, whose founding objective is to tackle global inequalities through innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

Financial inclusion vs social inclusion

Financial inclusion has become an essential tool for reducing inequality and creating new opportunities. Such simple operations, opening a checking account or making payments over the internet are still inaccessible to a large part of the world’s population: around 1.7 billion people are still unbanked, according to World Bank data. And precisely the difficulty in accessing banking services is one of the causes that aggravates the situation of poverty.

Both education in basic economic concepts and digitization are key to facilitating access to banking for the most vulnerable groups. Indeed, the G20 and the OECD, in their joint report on Guidelines and Policies on Digitization and Financial Education, recognize the role that technology plays at the present time to promote financial inclusion and improve dialogue and proximity with customers.

The banking sector has taken note, determined to meet customer needs. Banco Santander is an example of this commitment. The entity has recently been named by the magazine Euromoney as “Best Bank in the World for Financial Inclusion”, in recognition of the work carried out to make financial services accessible to everyone and improve financial knowledge through training programs. The group’s goal is to financially empower 10 million people between 2019 and 2025. For now, it is on track to meet this goal: it has already helped 6.2 million people, 60% of the goal set.


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