Our latest insights

Project Inclusion

Project Inclusion has provided an insightful opportunity to work on issues that have the impact to change lives. It has been both a pleasure and an eye-opener for me, and involved me in authentic initiatives across the fintech sector, thanks to The Payments Association’s enviable reputation as a thought leader.

Josh Berle, Project Lead

Mission Statement:

To drive industry activity that informs and collaborates with government and third sector bodies to provide clarity on PayTech innovations and solutions that aim to reduce financial exclusion and the poverty premium

Strategy and Approach 2022:

Inclusion through Diversity

  • Continuing promoting the issues of lifestyle/value based financial exclusion and the new wave of banks emerging which are helping to solve underbanking/unbanking in the UK



  • Explore how cryptocurrency can lift individuals from across the globe who suffer from financial exclusion due to restrictive domestic markets (and other reasons) and develop financial independence by engaging with de-centralised financial products


Develop Policy Agenda/Profile

  • Develop clear policy positions on key financial inclusion industry issues and drive further stakeholder engagement and collaboration with third sector organisations and charities e.g. Pennies,  Good Things Foundation, The Inclusion Foundation CIC


Industry Engagement

  • Engage with the government and third-sector parties, and continue to champion projects, initiatives, reports that aim to combat financial exclusion
  • Development of stakeholder engagement approach to drive  collaboration with third sector organisations and charities

Project Inclusion Team


Josh Berle – Business Development Director, Mastercard


Neil Harris – CEO, b-yond

Deputy Mentor

Daniel Holden – CEO, Trust Payments

Team Members

Simon Thomas – Prepaid Product Manager, allpay

Jos Henson Gric – Founder, Flex Money

Ravindra Meshram – Co-Founder and CEO, Talendeur

Ramsey El Dabbagh – Corporate Development, algbra

Nizam Uddin OBE – Chief Strategy Officer, algbra

Emily Boyd – Director, Financial Inclusion, Mastercard

Cormac McCarthy – Partnership Development Manager, Pennies

Kit Yarker – Product Marketing Director, PPS

Nadia Benaissa – Marketing Director, BPC

Alex Lambeth – Public Affairs Director, Crown Agents Bank

Nigel Atta-Mensah, Board Member, Crown Agents Bank

Andy Caulkett – Solutions Delivery Lead, Ingenico

Shadia Hanna -Principal, Payment Industry Relations,  Discover Financial Services

Kevin Flood – Senior Manager, Financial Services, EY

Research Initiatives

Inclusive Crypto and Digital Currencies

In the light of the U.K. government’s plans for the U.K. to become global cryptoasset technology hub, Project Inclusion, with the support of Mastercard, has launched its research initiative: Inclusive Crypto and CBDC’s– emerging themes and propositions.

Project Inclusion members spoke to select industry experts to get their perspectives on the possibilities of the new era of digital currencies addressing the financially excluded and underserved communities. Specifically, what are the financial inclusion use cases for these emerging currencies and assets and what will be their impact in the next 5 years?


Blog posts

Lifestyle and Values Banking

The Payments Association’s Project Inclusion team in partnership with Mastercard, has launched its newest research initiative into ‘Lifestyle and Values Banking’. The project conducted several interviews with banks from across the UK and around the globe who are catering to consumers by going beyond monetary factors and providing alternative offerings and services and supporting the pillars of equality.


Blog posts

Affordable Credit

Sponsored by Mastercard and in association with The Inclusion Foundation, our new Payments Association Project Inclusion interview series will delve deeper into the aspects of affordable credit and assess the evolution of the landscape, by looking at recent developments and challenges in the affordable credit market, identifying areas of fintech innovation and next steps to further progress.


Recent Media

Linking profit and purpose – embedding sustainability in the payments ecosystem

SUSTAINABILITY SUPERHEROES - A how-to guide to ESG for Fintechs

Making sustainability feasible in fintech – Where to start…

PAY360 2022 - A Let’s talk accessibility

Wishing Covid-19 debt away: How over-optimism stops people from seeking help

The Payment Association's response to the BoE/FCA paper on diversity and inclusion in the financial sector – working together to drive change

Helping the financially overlooked with 'Lifestyle and Values Banking'

Discover the landscape of lifestyle and values banking propositions targeted at those overlooked in society, and how technology, consumer trends, and market forces are reshaping the retail banking industry.

How has payments technology supported financial inclusion during the pandemic?

This month’s podcast, moderated by Project Inclusion Lead Josh Berle, explores how digital and financial exclusion remain entrenched in today’s society and have been how they have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically the cutting out of cash, and a lack of access to technology. The panel then moves on to what the FinTech industry is doing to tackle these issues, before touching on what financially inclusive payments could look like over the next 5 years.

We need to talk about credit.

This projects webinar discusses all things credit whilst dissecting the elephant in the room; is selling credit as sinful as it is often perceived? Is it inevitable that credit drives people into further debt? What makes some credit 'good' and some 'bad'?

Keynote Presentation: Innovate to Include – why the focus of 2021 needs to be on inclusion with Kelly Devine, Mastercard

Day 1 of PAY360 Virtual Conference: The pandemic has exposed the link between poverty and digital exclusion and highlighted the digital divide in society. What can the industry do to ensure everyone is prepared for a digital future and no one is left behind? Watch this session to hear how businesses, government and civil society can work together to innovate and tackle financial and digital exclusion.

Female Finance in Figures

This report examines the characteristics of 102 organizations offering financial services to women, comparing them with external statistics and reports.

Low-Cost, High-Tech Credit - Solving financial inclusion through innovation

This report provides an overview of how Fintech innovation is increasing access to affordable credit and tackling financial exclusion.

All Aboard. The role of the Fintech industry in solving the problems of financial exclusion

Project Inclusion, at the The Payments Association, wanted to ask how well financial services work for the youngest and oldest age groups, where risk of exclusion might reasonably be expected to be at its greatest. This report will shed light on service design and usability, lesser known but important use cases, customer motivation, and convey the essence of what financial inclusion services should be about– accessibility, choice, value for money, and no compromise on service quality.

EWPN report on Fintech for Women in partnership with Keen Innovation

Have you ever thought how strange it is that financial solutions for women should be marketed in pink? Or what financial services firms are missing by not fully meeting female customers’ needs? Get the answer and find a first overview of the ecosystem of fintech for women in this study by EWPN in partnership with Keen Innovation undertaken by EWPN Research Partners Dr. Erin B. Taylor and Dr. Anette Broløs.

COVID-19, Fintech and Financial Inclusion - Survey Summary Report

Last month, the Inclusion Foundation in partnership with the Payments Association conducted a survey with the aim to better understand the role of FinTech in tackling financial exclusion and in doing so provide insights and guidance for policymakers and firms, on the role of FinTech in participating/championing and coordinating efforts to tackle financial exclusion.

Women in Changing Times

The Payments Association, in conjunction with the European Women in Payments Network (EWPN) undertook this project to: 1) set a baseline in gender equity issues that will allow for the measurement of change over time; 2) understand the social and structural barriers that inhibit change, and 3) make recommendations

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