Salil Parekh

UNCDF FinLab Toolkit
Creating a toolkit to help fintech startups make their offerings relevant for the B40 customer segment
at Quicksand
in 2019

The UNCDF Financial Innovation Lab runs challenges to find and support solutions that help to promote inclusive and connected digital economies. As part of the Financial Innovation Lab, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) issues challenges to innovators in global markets across Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. The challenges reflect obstacles to inclusion in each market, that digital technologies present an opportunity to address. The challenges aim to stimulate the growth of new businesses and ideas to drive the development of inclusive digital economies.

The Financial Innovation Lab is a community of practice energized by its mission to achieve digital financial inclusion for the elimination of poverty worldwide. An initiative of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Lab aims to increase the accessibility of digital financial services and products for low- and middle-income people in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific by sharing knowledge and providing resources to develop impactful solutions.

Financial Innovation Lab Malaysia, funded by the MetLife Foundation, is running the B40 Challenge to find solutions that could drive usage of financial services by lower and middle income customers in Malaysia (or the B40 population) beyond access to bank accounts.

18 fintech start-ups were selected to work with UNCDF to develop and refine innovative new solutions. They’re attending Bootcamps to learn and apply the design thinking process, working with mentors and partners from Bank Negara and MDEC amongst other companies

Quicksand was brought in as facilitators for the first cohort, to conduct the bootcamp, and help the startups refine their offering to help serve the B40 population better. Documentation of the workshop can be found on UNCDF's website .

Over 3 bootcamps, the participants were introduced to the process of Human Centered Design, and used various tools to use design thinking to refine their offering. After the conclusion of the bootcamp, Quicksand was tasked to put together all the tools and exercises from the bootcamp into an easy to use resource. After initially putting together a toolkit using openly available and easily collaborative technologies, we explored other formats of delivering the same information. After a few small prototypes, we eventually settled on the idea of creating a micro-site.

This micro-site was powered by a spreadsheet on Google Sheets, and was hence still collaborative and easy to update. The website created is easy to use and presents information in various blocks, as would be required by the bootcamp participants and workshop facilitators. The tools and facilitation slides can be downloaded as required, with additional reference links provided where needed.