The world is dependent on global finance working towards a fairer financial system for people, the environment and culture with a focus on sustainability, climate change and social justice. This July at The Fintech Times we are putting the spotlight on ethical finance/ethical banking, including environmentally and socially-conscious practices.
Ninety-three per cent of EU citizens see climate change as a serious problem and 78 per cent see it as a very serious problem, according to the European Commission. A desire for change is now being reflected in how people view their financial services, with one survey suggesting around 60 per cent of consumers are looking for greener banking.
AAZZUR, a data-driven embedded finance experience platform, says sustainability is something banking can no longer ignore. In its whitepaper More Than Just Carbon Offsetting, it suggests the single most positive impact a consumer can have on the environment is through their finances.
Switching to a sustainability-focused pension, for example, is more than 21 times as effective at cutting carbon emissions than stopping flying, becoming a vegetarian and moving to a renewable energy provider combined.
According to the whitepaper, modern consumers want banking products that are socially responsible, sustainable, inclusive and organised within their day-to-day lives.
It explains that “when people think about sustainable banking, one thing springs to mind: carbon offsetting. This is where banks offset their and their customers’ carbon footprints by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere. It’s something many major banks are putting a lot of energy into and is no doubt a worthy task. But for modern banks and their customers, the options are far vaster and far more innovative than this”.
It continues: “Think instant investments in NGOs, inbuilt blacklisting of un-eco merchants, sustainability scores, rewards for environmentally friendly behaviour and much more. Embedded finance allows banks to offer their customers these services at the point of need, giving them the chance to make an instant, positive impact every time they make a purchase.”
Philipp Buschmann, CEO of AAZZUR, adds: “Embedded finance is a game-changer, especially when it comes to driving eco-conscious behaviours. Many people want to do their bit for the planet but without actionable steps, they find it hard to implement meaningful change. This is where apps like AAZZUR come into their own, and can really drive behavioural change.
AAZZUR is creating an ‘ecosystem of sustainable fintech products’ to help its clients’ customers mitigate their impact. Banks or businesses can integrate these services into their core banking platform.
“We can even create an entire challenger bank, investment platform or fintech company from scratch focussed entirely on sustainability,” says the company. “With our sustainability pack (with the help of our fintech partners), all payments and user behaviour are analysed by patent algorithms in real-time to help consumers understand their environmental impact and drive change through personalised recommendations for reduction and compensation.”
“They can track their CO2 emission, calculate an overall sustainability score and compare their scores with
others. They can also easily offset their CO2 emission, invest in green ventures and get proactive suggestions on more sustainable electricity and internet providers.”