(Expansión) – Mexico is a country whose financial sector faces three problems simultaneously: on the one hand, there is a general lack of solid financial education; secondly, current financial inclusion does not end up meeting the needs of populations that are left out of traditional banking services; Finally, the digitalization of the industry permeates very differently in specific regions and demographics of the country.
In recent years we have seen that fintech companies have grown like foam and the reason is that they are incorporating solutions tailored to the most vulnerable populations in the country and where the demand for financial products and services is great, as it represents an opportunity to improve their quality. of life.
Although these companies have bet on these populations, a fundamental population for the country as a whole often disappears from the horizon of all financial institutions: the elderly.
One of the great successes of the fintech companies is that in their search to improve the offer in the market (especially in terms of populations without access to financial products) they have opted mainly for a young segment of the demand.
The great ease with which the young population incorporates new technologies has been part of the success of fintech. However, these companies strive to have highly intuitive, agile and simple platforms; that is its great differentiator with respect to traditional banking.
In this mostly young bet, the reality is that the elderly are ignored. This does not mean that there are no products for these people, but rather that reaching them may imply a greater challenge to the extent that they are not familiar with the technology and its use.
If the great success of fintech is to be simple and intuitive, this can be a great starting point to reach the elderly with accessible financial products, that pay for their financial independence and support them in their life projects. .
Someone wants to think about the elderly!
However, reaching this population is not as easy as it seems. Some companies have already made progress, but there is still a long way to go and a first step is, without a doubt, financial education with a population approach.
Financial education designed for older adults is different from that provided to young people, suffice it to say that a young person is more familiar with some concepts and actions such as downloading an app ; but in an older adult the background is different, because in addition to including basic concepts of personal finance, reaching them requires inclusion and digital education.
Independence is a challenge for older adults. It must be considered that many of them live with relatives who can assist them (even financially), but just over 40% live alone and are economically active, that is, they work to have a source of income.
In addition to the remuneration for their work, older adults receive pensions or retirement benefits and support from social programs, which they have to optimize to cover their expenses month after month. In this way, promoting the tools that provide a better quality of life for this population is well worth it.
inclusion is the word
To reach them, it will be necessary to think about more inclusive services, in the full extension of the word, since 40.8% of people over 60 years of age live with some limitation and 18% with some type of disability. While in the population aged 70 to 79 these figures grow exponentially: 47% live with limitations and 26% with some disability.
Understanding that their needs, remains and conditions in general are different from those of the rest of the population is imperative and requires segmenting and designing specific products, something that fintech companies have been able to do very well.
Another of the challenges that the market implies is that older adults may be more vulnerable to fraud or scams, hence the enormous need to provide timely and profiled financial education.
At the end of the day the benefit and the social and financial impact will be enormous. The projections indicate that the older adult population will be increasingly extensive and its needs more pressing. Taking care of them now is taking care of society and the future of the economy.
It is a titanic task for which the first steps have already been taken. The path is laid out, let’s see what else fintech can do for this and other vulnerable populations.
Editor’s note: Sebastián Medrano Gallo is an economist and specialist in fintech issues. Follow him on . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.