FinTech Innovation Challenge 2020: Providing Unbanked and Underserved Women with Access Financial Services

1 billion women around the world do not have access to financial services, and there is a 9% gender gap in financial access across emerging markets. Furthermore, women are particularly vulnerable to global health and economic shocks, increasing the need to support their resilience and recovery in these challenge times. Women’s World Banking wants to identify FinTech innovations providing unbanked and underserved women with access financial services in order to build their security and prosperity in the face of these global economic uncertainties.

Women’s World Banking will support innovations in digital financial solutions that are designed to increase unbanked and underserved women’s access to and usage of financial solutions so that they may achieve security and prosperity.


FinTechs must submit solutions in either of one of two categories:

  • Build Security and Resiliency
    • How might they enable unbanked and underserved women to build resilience through convenient, secure, and reliable access to safety nets (i.e. funds for emergencies) to help mitigate against global shocks?
  • Build Economic Prosperity
    • How might they enable unbanked and underserved women to expand their income-generating activities to build their business and household income and support economic recovery after global shocks?

Prize Information

  • Finalists Receive
    • Invitation to present at Women’s World Banking’s virtual Making Finance Work for Women Summit in October 2020, which convenes leaders from the financial services, investor, philanthropy, policy and technology communities.
    • Connection to potential investors (including WWB Asset Management).
    • One year complimentary membership into Women’s World Banking’s Global Network.
  • Grand Prize Winners Receive
    • Compete as a finalist in the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Global FinTech Hackcelerator (powered by KPMG Digital Village) during the Singapore FinTech Festival in November 2020, and be fast-tracked to receive a MAS Proof-of-Concept Grant up to $S200,000. The top three winners of the MAS Global FinTech Hackcelerator will also get an additional S$50,000 Cash Prize.
    • Tuition coverage for a pair of leaders (senior executive (male or female) and high potential woman leader) to participate in the next Leadership and Diversity for Innovation Program.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Startup FinTechs based anywhere that are leveraging technology to provide financial services for unbanked and underserved women in emerging markets. Solutions do not need to be exclusively for unbanked and underserved women but must show deliberate intent to be inclusive of reaching the segment.
  • Applicants can be pre-revenue but must demonstrate a viable value proposition to reach unbanked and underserved women.
  • Solutions should focus on building women’s security or prosperity, particularly in supporting resilience and recovery from global economic shocks.
  • FinTechs should also demonstrate a commitment to developing women leaders through the presence of women in their senior management team and Board of Directors.

Selection Criteria

  • Reach
    • How many unbanked and underserved women do you reach through your solution?
    • What strategies are you deploying to reach unbanked and underserved women?
  • Innovation
    • What systemic barriers for unbanked and underserved women does the solution address?
  • Sustainability
    • Can you demonstrate a path to financial sustainability?
  • Scalability
    • Can you clearly demonstrate how this solution will scale across markets?
  • Empowerment
    • “How might your solution empower your unbanked and underserved woman customer?
  • Responsibility
    • Are you employing best practices in consumer protection and transparency?

For more information, visit FinTech Innovation Challenge