The impact in financial services
The social and environmental impact: beyond posture
The importance of considering impact when it comes to financial services is no longer a simple opportunity, but a requirement based on values, ethics and meaning, especially among millennials. This white paper questions this ground swell, which, accompanied by recent changes in regulations – like the European taxonomy bringing order to the classification of investments – reinforces the need for financial players to accelerate their global transition.
“Innovative finance is largely in the hands of millennials for whom impact is key. This concerns both supply (entrepreneurs) and demand (consumers) as this generation has taken control, including culturally” underlines Alain Clot, President of France FinTech.
A plurality of expressions of impact: identifying the levers
Education and financial inclusion, responsible investments, social and solidarity economy, donations, philanthropy, etc. are all areas in which companies can make a fair and sustainable transition. Beyond the requirement to reduce, or even stop, the negative effects of their activities, some even offer so-called regenerative solutions.
The emergence of many so-called impact fintechs, in less than half a decade, demonstrates the opportunities for financial services players to act, on their own scale, and their responsibility to contribute to these necessary changes. The study shows that the notion of impact can be characterized in particular by:
- Direct action on the environment as a central element of the offer;
- The development of a responsible customer experience, combining education and transparency;
- The proposal of accessible and so-called inclusive financial offers, adapted to types of customers who are poorly or poorly served;
- Models allowing a better sharing of the added value.
A necessary scaling up: fintech as a catalyst
While fintechs are developing rapidly, it should be remembered that these, by their size, structure, segmented activities, agile practices and position as market entrants, can more easily experience economically viable and socially just solutions. The impact models they offer are wonderful illustrations of the fields of action and methods to be considered for making the transition.
Bank accounts, payment solutions, savings, investments, loans, insurance: so many needs and uses whose operation must be redesigned with the contributions of technology and through the prism of the social and environmental footprint.
While traditional players are already engaged in their transformation, we bet that feedback from fintech and virtuous collaborations is one of the keys to scaling up the financial sector towards a sustainable economy. How to redefine its DNA so that the internal codes change and that the collaborators join and contribute fully to the impact of the company? How to ensure that you always make relevant strategic choices?
Putting people and the environment first does not necessarily compromise financial success, quite the contrary. Responsible approaches create value, they constitute a criterion of attractiveness, creating jobs, as evidenced by the numerous effective recruitments of greentech start-ups.
“The time is over for dithering: all companies have a major role to play, without delay, in ecological and societal transitions”, concludes Marc Sabatier, president and co-founder of Julhiet Sterwen.
This white paper offers an incursion into the heart of impact fintech models. It attempts to propose a classification and to define the possibilities of application to all financial services. May it stimulate the essential transformation of this sector.