I think it is appropriate to start this train of thought by saying that I grew up in an upper-middle class family in the United States. The reason that I think this is important is that a pertinent disclaimer should be made. I don’t know what it is like to operate outside of the traditional financial system in the U.S. I am extremely empathetic to the unbanked but I would be highly reticent to lead on that I fully understand their plight. This being said, I have always had a burning desire to do good in the world. It has never been enough for me to simply provide a service, my heart and soul say to me that, “if you can’t do something better, why are you doing it at all?”
In late 2001 I met a woman who would later become my wife. She is smart and beautiful and has a dry wit to rival the best of them. This amazing human being was born in another country. She is an immigrant. In 1982 her family came to the United States when she was just 1 year old. Her family arrived in the U.S. with nothing but a couple suitcases and $200 in cash. This humble beginning altered the course of my life for the best. My family by marriage has a beautiful history of the greatest people in American society extending love, giving service, and truly accepting them into the community with open arms.
My parents by marriage are business owners that have stereotypically taken the American dream by the horns and made it their own. I could write annals here on the amazing experiences that they have had after having come to this country, but that is not really my topic in this post. I write the foregoing to make emphatic my passion for helping the unbanked, for reducing the cost and increasing the convenience for remittances across international borders, and to lend assistance to my international brothers and sisters in affording them financial freedoms they don’t currently enjoy. These topics affect my family directly, my foreign relatives by marriage have attended foreign universities due in large part to the financial system and international money transfers; and as the recipients of these services have claimed elevated economic status and are better contributors to their communities. I am a U.S. citizen but also consider myself a global citizen and do what I can to cumulatively improve the global standards for living.
Some time ago I founded a company with brilliant co-founders with a shared vision of providing a service that promotes financial inclusion and allows many, previously a part of the World’s unbanked, to graduate to the ranks of the World’s banked. As we have moved forward with our business we have come to realize that it is not enough just to run a business that improves a process, increases efficiency, and lowers cost. These are noble and great endeavors in and of themselves (in our humble opinions) but we also realize that what we are learning is highly valuable to the masses and that intrinsic to what we are doing is a social responsibility to promote the message of financial inclusion and to put resources behind including as many people as are willing in the mission to bring the 86% of the World that is unbanked to join the World’s banked.
This blog is really about education and activation around financial inclusion for the rest of the world. Our goal is to provide information on the difficulties of the current system while at the same time drilling down into the stories of people seeking better ways to solve the problems. We hope that in sharing this information we will unite people that want to help and provide a forum to exchange ideas and act.