Fintech initiatives and digital solutions will provide long and lasting support to Ukrainian refugees, expediting access to basic financial information and identity preservation services, whilst also providing a wealth of resources to combat sanctions evasion through anti-fraud tactics.
The Ukraine crisis has meant that millions of people have had to be displaced from their homes. In such turbulent circumstances, there is no doubt that people fleeing Ukraine often must vacate their homes without valid identity documents, leaving them vulnerable to short-term financial exclusion.
This common vulnerability is being addressed by the fintech sector, with companies seeking ways to make sure that people are able to access basic information, vital for the displaced to rebuild their lives.
With little to no documentation or access to bank accounts, asylum seekers and refugees are commonly faced without the means they need to restart their lives, including no employment opportunities, a lack of accommodation and having no way to make payments in their host country.
However, thanks to fast-moving developments in the fintech sector, migrants have found solutions to these challenges with access to basic financial services.
Digital fintech solutions and alternative digital bank accounts have meant that internationally displaced people are able to complete basic transactions to family and friends and identify themselves to accommodation services.
Identity verification is one of the biggest challenges faced by refugees, and fintech solutions and agencies, in particular those like the International Bureau of Credit Histories have the means to help.
Conveniently, the International Bureau of Credit Histories is a Ukrainian subsidiary of fintech firm Creditinfo, which is a credit rating agency harnessing alternative data in emerging markets.
Creditinfo works alongside central banks, international monetary organisations, banks and other financial institutions to provide refugees newly based in Poland, Moldova and the Baltics access to credit reports which can be utilised in the same way as identity information, providing invaluable aid to migrants without this vital information.
Cheqd, another fintech company, is solving different issues in their own innovative way. Cheqd uses blockchain as a means to store and validate people’s identities.
They are working alongside their partner Tykn, which has been trialing this solution with the Turkish government, in an effort to speed up the issuing process of work permits to refugees, as well as creating a digital wallet to keep all validated documents in one place.
When it comes to conflict, the enforcement of global financial sanctions, including those levied against Russia, is a key area where fintech companies are getting involved.
Startup SEON recently raised £77 million in funding in order to deploy fintech solutions which can prevent fraud in the area of sanction evasion.
With the war in Ukraine, anti-fraud solutions are being rolled out in an effort to combat sanctions evasion by politically exposed agents.
Tamas Kadar, the SEON CEO, has highlighted the way in which machine learning democratises fraud prevention and detection.
This will allow fintech companies to make sure strict measures are in place, to uphold current and future sanctions.