Copenhagen FinTech

A tech alliance works to help bank the unbanked

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Copenhagen FinTech, a Danish non-profit organisation, uses its network of more than 150 partners, sponsors and members to support the next generation of technology-led corporate and startup organisations. CARE is one of the world’s largest non-profit aid organisations. It focuses on helping those in need in 10 countries across Asia and Africa to better their lives.

In March 2018, CARE Denmark and Copenhagen FinTech joined forces with the aim of matching the challenges faced by underdeveloped countries with the solutions of smart and evolving fintech companies, powered by the Wazoku idea management platform.


of people engaging and contributing ideas on a global scale


awarded for winning idea’s proof of concept


technology, digital commerce and financial applications being brought to the unbanked world

“This project helped fintech startups gain traction, and in doing so helped NGOs come up with new ways to solve global developing world issues. There is a huge need and opportunity for collaboration in this space.”

Simon Schou
CIO, Copenhagen FinTech

The background: the need for sustainable solutions to a recurring problem

A recurring problem in areas of Africa and Asia is that large areas of the population, specifically nomads, are unable to access cash, loans or general banking services. Often in times of emergency such as droughts, or political conflicts, the savings and loan bodies in place are the first to break down.

CARE works specifically with the nomadic population in remote and rural areas of Niger, which has low connectivity and very few banking options. Despite their efforts, they needed a new and innovative solution to get people access to loans and cash.

They approached Copenhagen FinTech to source sustainable solutions for these global challenges and use their network of fintech startups and industry experts to uncover trailblazing ideas.

“The reason we put this project together is because we already know all the fintech startups, and, we know that they can have a huge impact on NGOs and the global goals of the world.’’ Simon Schou, Copenhagen FinTech.

The solution: harnessing a global challenge

Together with Copenhagen FinTech, CARE launched an open innovation challenge, powered by the Wazoku idea management platform, to crowdsource the global fintech industry for new ideas. The solution needed to create financial empowerment for the nomad population in Niger.

The challenge, ‘Cash & loans for the unbanked’ was built in Copenhagen FinTech’s Virtual Fintech Lab. It was shared across the industry to encourage collaboration and engagement on a global scale. A €13,500 incentive was offered to the best idea to develop a proof of concept.

The winning concept should have the potential for much wider sustainable outcomes – ones that could be applied to similar groups of unbanked population and disconnected people all over the world.

“Trying to run this project outside of a platform setting would have been a messy and a difficult process to execute. The Wazoku platform made it simple. We were able to achieve global reach and communicate with startups all the way from India, who were having feedback sessions with multiple people within the NGOs, all on the platform.” Simon Schou CIO, Copenhagen FinTech.


Nine proposals were submitted. Each idea was carefully evaluated and judged through the Wazoku idea management platform on the following criteria: novelty, relevance, feasibility, desirability and viability.

The winning idea by hiveonline, a fintech trust platform, pitched the concept of a decentralised blockchain enabled mobile wallet network. This idea offered finance to the population of Niger without the need for bank records or prior approval, simply using their mobile phone data. €13,500 was awarded to hiveonline to make their proposal a reality.

The partnership between CARE and Copenhagen FinTech was unique and the first time in Denmark that an NGO has leveraged fintech startups to try and amplify the effect they have in countries in which they work in.

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