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FinTech May Bring Solutions to Refugees Excluded from Financial Services, Report Says

– EURACTIV

Vlagyiszlav Makszimov relays information from a Village Capital report that claims refugees in Europe are struggling to access formal banking and financial services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic

Makszimov reports that while European legal frameworks require countries to provide all residents with basic payment accounts, in practice the services refugees and asylum seekers can access are much more basic, difficult to deal with and less friendly to users than their counterparts for nationals or citizens. Complicating matters further:

"Since the EU passed a directive in 2014 requiring banks to offer basic payment accounts to all customers legally residing in EU countries, including asylum seekers and refugees, only half of member state regulators have issued formal guidelines on the financial integration of refugees."

Makszimov reports that countries may be fatigued by ongoing refugee support, and strict identification regulations in the EU make utilizing new, non-state financial technology services nearly impossible. He also notes that these problems have been compounded in the current pandemic environment, where cash-based accounts are virtually useless:

As many businesses have gone cashless amid the COVID-19 pandemic, those without a credit card are ‘locked out'

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