Financial Inclusion - Virtual Pay

Why Financial Inclusion Matters to Online Businesses

10 May 2023 3 minutes read

It is common knowledge that financial inclusion is an important matter on a global scale. Not only does at least basic access to mainstream financial services matter on an individual level, but it also opens up a massive worldwide demographic that otherwise would be inaccessible to online businesses – a fact that the best payment services providers are well aware of.

According to a recent World Bank report, there are 1.4 billion adults without access to any mainstream banking services. In addition, the U.S. Federal Reserve reported that 14.1 percent of U.S. households are either unbanked or underbanked, thus limiting access to online goods
and services.

Think of it, without access to mainstream financial services, that is 1.4 billion adults globally left unable to access basic online services or order goods online! Think of the couch surfer in the US who has no address from which to open a bank account or the remote Indian village with no internet access and their nearest bank is a few days’ journey away. It is a massive opportunity.

In 2021, 2.14 billion people globally were expected to buy goods and services online, while 2022 estimates by Statista state that retail e-commerce sales exceeded 5.7 trillion U.S. dollars. Logically, these figures will only increase as the population grows and financial inclusion increases, leaving a massive opportunity for online retailers. Again, the opportunity is boundless.

While traditional banking services are out of the grasp of many, non-traditional banking services, such as mobile money, are becoming more commonplace with penetration increasing globally over the last decade. In fact, according to, “there are over 1.35bil mobile money accounts transacting more than USD2mil per minute.”

That is a vast untapped market for online businesses to miss out on by not accepting payment methods such as mobile money!

Accessing alternative payment methods for your online business will often depend on your payment services provider. At Virtual Pay, our payment platform offers a range of mobile money services such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money, and traditional payment methods, like credit card processing, that online businesses can offer to customers and clients. Backed with PCI DSS security and 3D secure authentication technology, customers and companies alike can rest assured that their payments are being handled with safe hands.

Many online businesses only offer traditional payment methods for their goods and services. When selecting a payment processor to manage your business transactions online, it is important to consider that you may well be missing out on untapped growth potential by choosing a platform that excludes much of the global population.