Did you know that according to the World Bank there are nearly 2.5 billion people in the world who don’t have access to basic financial services? This is known as the “financial inclusion gap.” And it’s a big problem, because, without access to things like savings accounts, credit, and insurance, these people are at a disadvantage when it comes to building wealth and achieving economic security.
Thankfully, there are a number of products and services designed to help close the financial inclusion gap. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important ones. Whether you’re an individual looking for ways to improve your financial situation, or a business owner interested in helping more people achieve economic security, read on for some helpful tips.
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What Is Financial Inclusion?
Financial inclusion is the ability of individuals and businesses to access appropriate financial products and services that meet their needs—in other words, it’s about having financial access to the “financial system.” This includes things like savings accounts, credit, and insurance.
It’s important to note that financial inclusion is not the same as financial literacy. Financial literacy is about understanding how financial products and digital financial services work. Financial inclusion is about having access to those affordable financial products and other financial services in the first place.
Best Financial Inclusion Products
Here are a few important financial inclusion products and services that everyone should know about:
1. M1 Finance
M1 Finance is a financial inclusion product that offers automated, commission-free investing. It is flexible, customizable, and automated. With M1 Finance, you can invest with Pies – not real ones, obviously…but wouldn’t that be something?
You can customize your Pie and add your securities as slices of your Pie. You can also build a Pie and use it as a smaller part of your overall Pie to organize your portfolio with ease.
M1 Finance also offers Expert Pies. These are over 60 curated Pies for a variety of investing styles or goals. With M1 Finance, you can build long-term wealth your way.
The Invest with Pies feature allows users to customize their portfolios and make informed investment choices. For those who want a hands-off approach, the Expert Pies feature provides over 60 curated portfolios that are designed for a variety of investing styles. No matter how you choose to invest, M1 Finance offers a convenient and affordable way to build long-term wealth.
And I swear the whole “pie” thing makes more sense when you have M1 open in front of you. It’s a genuinely intuitive, almost gamified way of managing your investments.
- Offers automated, commission-free investing
- Flexible and customizable with Pies
- Offers over 60 Expert Pies for a variety of investing styles
- A convenient and affordable way to invest
- No advisory services or financial planning
As a SoFi member, you get access to exclusive benefits that are designed to help you succeed with your money, community, and career. With SoFi Member Rewards, you can earn points for taking steps toward financial independence.
And with their referral program, you can get paid for referring your friends and family to SoFi. Plus, as a member of their advisory board, you’ll have a chance to provide feedback on their products and alternative financial services.
SoFi is more than just a financial technology company – it’s a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to building a better future. SoFi members enjoy exclusive access to career coaching, member events, and financial planning resources. And, their stadium perks program provides members with expedited entry and access to the SoFi Member Lounge at select stadiums across the country.
When it comes to your finances, they believe that you shouldn’t have to go it alone. That’s why they offer complimentary estate planning formal financial services to all SoFi members.
With 25% off trusts, wills, and guardianship plans, it’s easy to get started. So whether you’re just starting out on your financial journey or you’re well on your way to success, SoFi has the resources and support you need to reach your goals.
- Offers exclusive benefits and rewards to members
- Provides access to career coaching, member events, and financial planning resources
- Complimentary estate planning financial services for all members
- 25% off trusts, wills, and guardianship plans
- No mutual funds
See Related: Best Apps for Automatic Investing in ETFs
When it comes to financial inclusion products, Acorns is in a class by itself. Unlike other products on the market, Acorns offers a suite of features that make it easy to save and invest for your future. With Acorns, you can invest spare change from everyday purchases, get paid 2 days early, and earn bonus investments as you shop at 14,000 brands.
Moreover, Acorns provides a checking account that automatically invests for you, making it easy to save for retirement. And if that’s not enough, Acorns also offers a variety of smart money tips and tricks to help you make the most of your finances.
There are no minimums, so you can start investing with spare change, set daily/weekly/monthly contributions, or make one-time deposits when you have extra cash. Acorns also has smart portfolios that are customized to your goals and diversified through ETFs with exposure to over 7,000 stocks and bonds.
You can focus on your growth and use the power of compound returns that could potentially grow your investments over time. Acorns is the perfect way to invest in the background of life.
In under 3 minutes, you can start saving for retirement, spending smarter, and more. Lastly, when you sign up for Acorns, you’ll get a $10 bonus investment.
- Easy to use and navigate
- No minimums to start investing
- Get paid 2 days early
- Smart money tips and tricks
- $10 bonus investment when you sign up
- Monthly fees
- If you have a small amount of money saved up, the fees associated with Acorns can take away from your investment returns
See Related: Best Green Apps for a More Sustainable Life
Wealthfront helps you invest smarter and more efficiently. With automated investing and expert-curated portfolios, Wealthfront makes it easy to get the most out of your money. And with Tax-Loss Harvesting, you can let your taxes work for you, instead of against you.
With an average return boost of 1.8%, Wealthfront can help you keep more of your hard-earned money. Best of all, the fee is just 0.25% a year – a small price to pay for all the benefits they offer.
With Wealthfront, you not only have the opportunity to earn a competitive 2.55% APY on your short-term investments but you can also invest for the future with a diversified and an automated investment account.
You can also invest in a Socially Responsible portfolio that is made to manage itself. With Wealthfront, it is easy to start making a difference. All you need to do is make a deposit, and they will handle the rest. You can focus on what is important to you while they work to lower your taxes through tax-loss harvesting.
- Automated investing
- Expert-curated portfolios
- Tax-Loss Harvesting
- 2.55% APY on short-term cash
- Socially Responsible portfolio
- You need $500 to start
- No fractional shares
See Related: Best Ways to Invest in Affordable Housing
Betterment is an investing app that helps you earn more money with easy, automated tools and strategies. With as little as $10, you can get started and invest on the go with their top-rated mobile app.
Betterment puts the robots to work for you, unlocking your money’s potential with automated tools and strategies. And you can customize your account to control your risk tolerance and suit your personal needs.
Betterment helps you grow your money with less volatility and risk. With Betterment, you can invest in a diversified portfolio of ETFs with one low, annual fee of 0.25%. Betterment also offers Socially Responsible Investing portfolios to help you make an impact without sacrificing your performance goals.
In addition, Betterment’s transparent pricing and automated tax strategies help you take home more of your hard-earned money. Also, Betterment’s ability to track your finances in one place makes it easy to manage your financial life. With all these features, it’s no wonder Betterment is arguably the best choice in this list of FIPs for growing your money.
- As little as $10 to get started
- Automated tools and strategies
- Diversified portfolio of ETFs
- Socially Responsible Investing portfolios
- Transparent pricing
- No direct indexing
- Confusing set-up process
See Related: Best Betterment Alternatives | Apps Like Betterment
6. Wealthsimple Trade
Wealthsimple Trade allows users to do their own stock trading commission-free. With no account minimums, users can start trading at their own pace with as little as $1.
Wealthsimple Trade also offers fractional shares, so users can invest in companies they love for as little as $1. In addition, Wealthsimple Tradeskip the FX fees on US trades, making it an ideal platform for cost-conscious investors.
For just $0/month, you get all the features you need to start trading, including instant trades up to $1,500, fractional shares, and unlimited price alerts. If you trade more than $550/month in USD, the Plus plan is a great option at just $10/month.
You’ll be able to trade up to $5,000 instantly and without commissions or FX fees on US trades. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced trader, Wealthsimple Trade has the tools and features you need to make smart, informed decisions about your investments.
- Incredible value
- No account minimums
- Fractional shares
- Unlimited price alerts
- Lack of in-depth investment analytics and educational tools
Robinhood is another great platform that offers you to invest in stocks, options, and ETFs commission-free. With Robinhood Gold, you can now earn 3% interest on uninvested cash, which is 23x the national average savings rate. Additionally, Robinhood offers the opportunity to earn income on stocks users already own by turning on Stock Lending.
And with just $1, you can start building their portfolios at your own pace. Besides, Robinhood allows users to dive right into cryptocurrency without commission fees. Crypto exchanges typically charge up to 4% just to buy and sell crypto, but Robinhood charges 0%. Last but not least, you can get ETH, BTC, DOGE, LTC, and more for as little as $1.
- No commission fees
- $1 account minimums
- 3% interest on uninvested cash
- Stock Lending program to earn income on stocks you own
- 0% commission fees on cryptocurrency trading
- Limited product range
- Weak customer support
- Not a stranger to controversy. You know what I’m talking about…
See Related: Best 5G Stocks to Invest in Today
Stash is a financial education product that lets you begin investing with just a few clicks. Once approved from an account verification perspective, users can open a brokerage account and begin investing in a wide variety of assets.
Stash makes it easy for anyone to start building long-term wealth without the guesswork, stress, and hassle of traditional investing. With Smart Portfolio, users can automate their investments with smart portfolio management tools that are designed to help grow their wealth over time. Best of all, you can get started with as little as $5.
You can invest at any amount, and Stash will provide personalized investment advice and auto-invest options. With Stash, you can also reinvest dividends and learn more about self-directed investing. In addition, the Stash Stock-Back Card allows you to earn stock while you spend.
With the Stock-Back Card, you’ll automatically earn stock in the company when you shop at the brands you love. So whether you’re filling up your car at the gas station or buying coffee at Starbucks, you’re investing in your future with every purchase.
- You can start with as little as $5
- Offers fractional shares
- Provides personalized investing advice and auto-invest options
- The Stash Stock-Back Card allows you to earn stock while you spend
- Smart Portfolios don’t offer tax-loss harvesting
9. Personal Capital
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is a way for you to support and invest in companies that align with your values. With Personal Capital’s dashboard, you can start building a personalized SRI portfolio to help you meet your goals.
Socially Responsible Investing is more than windmills and clean energy y’know! It’s an investment strategy that can make a positive impact on Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG) issues. Furthermore, some analysts believe that investing in companies with high ESG ratings could lead to increased returns over the long term. With Personal Capital, you can make a difference with your investments while also meeting your financial goals.
Personal Capital provides a free, powerful dashboard that includes a retirement planner, investment checkup, and fee analyzer. The retirement planner helps users to see if they are on track to meet their goals, while the investment checkup assesses risk and diversity in the portfolio.
The fee analyzer helps users to find hidden fees and see how they impact them over time. Personal Capital is a valuable tool for anyone looking to take control of their financial future.
- Free dashboard with a bunch of tools
- Retirement planner
- Investment checkup
- Fee analyzer
- The fee of 0.89% is a bit on the high side
See Related: Personal Capital SRI Review: Is It Trustworthy?
Libertex helps you build a personalized portfolio and track it. The Libertex broker has been operating since 1997 and has acquired over 25 years of experience.
Libertex customers come from 110 countries worldwide. Libertex has received 30 international awards from renowned financial magazines and financial institutions in recognition of the company’s excellent customer support quality and innovative tech solutions.
Some of the many benefits of using Libertex include the ability to trade with over 250 tradable assets, coverage in over 120 nations, including developing countries, and being part of the Libertex Group with over 25 years of experience.
Libertex offers tight-spread CFD trading, eToro alternatives, and very competitive fees. Libertex offers a wide selection of markets including forex, indices, commodities, stocks, cryptocurrency, and more. The broker’s training materials are comprehensive and cover everything from the basics of CFD trading to more advanced topics.
Overall, Libertex is a great choice for traders looking for a reputable broker with low fees and a large selection of markets. With so many satisfied customers and award-winning service, you can trust that Libertex is a reliable choice for your financial needs.
Tottenham Hotspur FC is also an official partner of Libertex. If that helps you get on board, so be it. Not me though. Wycombe Wanderers all the way.
- Tight spread CFD trading
- eToro alternatives
- Very competitive fees
- Wide selection of markets
- Great training materials
- The traders cannot use advisors for trading
- Partners with Tottenham – yuck
11. Credit Karma
Credit Karma uses your credit profile to show you curated offers. Plus, with Karma Confidence, you can see your Approval Odds before you apply, without impacting your scores. Credit Karma also has a Cash in with Credit program where you can get cash back on debit purchases, and their Karma Money feature which helps you manage your money.
In addition, Credit Karma helps connect you to government support and personalized debt relief options. Financial progress starts with credit health, and Credit Karma offers credit monitoring to get alerted to important changes to your reports.
You can also learn what affects your scores and what you can do to improve them with the Insights feature. Finally, the Better decisions section helps you make better choices with your credit. All of these features make Credit Karma an essential product for anyone looking to improve their financial situation.
- Free credit scores
- Approval odds
- Cash in with Credit program
- Karma Money feature
- Connects you to government support and personalized debt relief options
- Receive a Vantage Score instead of your FICO score
- Cannot access an actual credit report
Plus500 is a regulated online trading platform that offers CFDs on a wide range of financial instruments, including forex, stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, and commodities. With Plus500, you can practice your trading strategy in a risk-free demo account before opening a real account.
Plus500 also provides comprehensive educational materials to help you expand your knowledge of the markets. And with advanced risk management tools, you can limit your losses and lock in profits.
With fast and secure order execution, tight spreads, and advanced analytical tools, Plus500 provides an all-in-one solution for online trading. In addition, the platform offers leverage of up to 1:300 and real-time quotes, making it a powerful tool for both beginner and experienced traders alike.
Plus500 is also licensed and regulated by a variety of global leading regulators, adding an extra layer of protection for users. Lastly, the platform offers 24/7 customer support in multiple languages, ensuring that users always have help when they need it.
- A wide range of financial instruments
- Tight spreads
- Advanced analytical tools
- Leverage up to 1:300
- Regulated by a variety of global leading regulators
- 24/7 customer support
- Mediocre research tools
- Average CFD fees
- Hard to find educational tools
If you’re like most people, you probably dread payday. It’s the day when your bank account balance plummets and you start praying that you don’t get hit with any unexpected expenses. But what if there was a way to get access to your earnings as you earn them, instead of having to wait for payday? Enter Earnin.
With the Cash Out feature, you can get up to $500 of your paycheck per pay period, so you can cover unexpected costs or simply enjoy your hard-earned money sooner. And with Balance Shield, you can stay on top of low account balances and get alerts if your balance falls below a certain amount.
Essentially, it allows you to access your paycheck before payday, up to $100 per day. There are no hidden fees – you simply tip what you think is fair. It also has a feature called Balance Shield, which helps you stay on top of your finances by sending low balance alerts and allowing you to set up automatic cash-outs when your balance falls below a certain amount.
Having used Earnin, I think this is a really great product for anyone who struggles to make ends meet or who doesn’t have a lot of financial padding. It’s simple to use and it can really help you avoid those pesky overdraft fees.
- Access to your paycheck before payday
- No hidden fees
- Balance Shield feature
- Alerts for low balances
- Automatic cashouts
- They control the limit you can withdraw
- It can be…tough to talk with their customer service – response times are pretty lackluster
See Related: Best Green Companies to Invest
If you’re looking for a financial product that can help you get your finances on track, Brigit is definitely worth considering. With over 3 million members, Brigit offers up to $250 in advances, with no credit check or interest required.
Plus, you can start building your credit score while you save, which is a great way to improve your financial standing over time. And if you need more money, Brigit’s CPS program gives you access to additional funds at a low cost.
There’s no credit check required, and you’ll pay no interest or hidden fees. Additionally, Brigit can help you build your credit score by reporting your payments to the credit bureaus. And if you ever experience identity theft, Brigit will cover you for up to $1 million.
Finally, Brigit provides clear insights into your spending habits and offers budgeting tools to help you make the most of your money. Plus, Brigit’s job board can help you find new opportunities to earn more money. All in all, Brigit is an extremely useful financial inclusion product that can help anyone manage their money more effectively.
- Up to $250 in advances
- No credit check or interest required
- Can help you build your credit score
- Identity theft protection
- Clear insights into spending habits
- Budgeting tools
- Requires access to your bank account
This product is designed to help you grow your wealth and protect it from potential risks by providing access to professional investment management with affordable robo-advisor products. You can choose from a hybrid service to digital-only investing that provides access to advisors when needed.
With Fidelity Wealth Services, you will collaborate with a dedicated advisor who will work with you to provide clear recommendations that are designed to help you grow and protect your wealth.
When it comes to retirement planning, Fidelity is a company that you can trust. With over 70 years of experience in the financial services industry, Fidelity has the knowledge and expertise to help you plan for your future.
In addition, Fidelity offers a wide range of investment products, from simple wealth management to more complex retirement planning. And because Fidelity is a company with no account fees, $0 commission trades, and no minimums to open an account, you can be sure that your money will go further with Fidelity!
- Dedicated advisor
- Wide range of investment products
- No account fees
- $0 commission trades
- High mutual fund fees and margin rates
- Slower account verification
- No crypto & futures features
See Related: Best Fidelity Alternatives
The trading app known as moomoo (yup, lowercase m and everything) is a new digital financial inclusion product that is designed to help investors make better decisions about which stocks to buy. The app provides users with a comprehensive stock screener and cutting-edge tools for locating just the right investments that match their strategy.
It’s also got a big ol’ cow fella as their mascot, and it’s just a great name – moomoo. There is literally no bad way to say it out loud – go on, try it on for a minute; pretend you’re a gross frat boy at the bar calling over your boy, moomoo. MOOMOO! See? Great name.
If that wasn’t enough, moomoo gives users access to institutional tracking lists and stock compare features that provide clarity and insights that were previously only available to professional investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, moomoo is a valuable tool for anyone looking to make the most of their investment dollars.
Additionally, moomoo helps people manage their money and make informed decisions about their finances. The product includes a number of features that make it easy to use, including daily short volume data from NYSE and NASDAQ, free real-time level 2 data, and advanced charting tools.
To cap it all off, moomoo’s level 2 data is refreshed every 0.3 seconds, making it easy to stay up to date with the latest changes in the market.
Plus, the product’s capital flows and position cost feature makes it easy to see how your investments are performing. Overall, moomoo is a great tool for anyone who wants to take control of their finances and make informed decisions about their money.
- Comprehensive stock screener
- Cutting-edge tools for locating investments
- Access to institutional tracking lists
- Stock compare features
- Daily short volume data
- Free real-time level 2 data
- Mascot- sublime
- Name – brilliant
- Limited product portfolio
- Only bank transfer for deposit/withdrawal
See Related: Best Stocks Screeners
Webull is a digital financial inclusion product that allows you to trade fractional shares, OTC, options, stocks, ETFs, and ADRs. With as little as $5, you can invest in thousands of companies and fractional shares.
Options provide a strategic alternative to just investing in equity. You can also invest in foreign companies to diversify your portfolio or take advantage of global opportunities.
ETFs allow you to diversify your holdings by investing in a group of stocks with the same convenience as trading a single stock. Pretty nifty.
OTCs are a great way to get a better understanding of what OTCs are and how you can invest in them. ADRs provide a convenient way to invest in foreign companies. You can also use Webull’s trading tools and analytics to create your own financial portfolio.
- Trade fractional shares, OTC, options, stocks, ETFs, and ADRs
- $5 minimum to invest
- Access to foreign companies
- Use Webull’s trading tools and analytics to create your own financial portfolio
- No income on excess cash
Kyle Kroeger, esteemed Purdue University alum and accomplished finance professional, brings a decade of invaluable experience from diverse finance roles in both small and large firms. An astute investor himself, Kyle adeptly navigates the spheres of corporate and client-side finance, always guiding with a principal investor’s sharp acumen.
Hailing from a lineage of industrious Midwestern entrepreneurs and creatives, his business instincts are deeply ingrained. This background fuels his entrepreneurial spirit and underpins his commitment to responsible investment. As the Founder and Owner of The Impact Investor, Kyle fervently advocates for increased awareness of ethically invested funds, empowering individuals to make judicious investment decisions.
Striving to marry financial prudence with positive societal impact, Kyle imparts practical strategies for saving and investing, underlined by a robust ethos of conscientious capitalism. His ambition transcends personal gain, aiming instead to spark transformative global change through the power of responsible investment.
When not immersed in the world of finance, he’s continually captivated by the cultural richness of new cities, relishing the opportunity to learn from diverse societies. This passion for travel is eloquently documented on his site, ViaTravelers.com, where you can delve into his unique experiences via his author profile.