ING, UNICEF to invest $400K in fintechs that create social impact


    Dutch financial institution ING Bank, investing up to $400,000 in start-ups that offer open-source financial technology (fintech) solutions to help disadvantaged youth and families in the Philippines.

    ING, in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Office of Innovation, announced that the search for fintechs for social impact is accepting applications up to February 23, 2020.

    Up to six start-ups will be chosen under the ‘Fintech for Impact’ initiative of ING and UNICEF, which piloted in the Philippines. Aside from funding, the chosen start-ups will benefit from a year-long technical and business mentorship with experts to develop and monitor the social impact of the investments.

    Interested applicants can go to the program website,, to register and get more information. They may also participate in an “Application Bootcamp” that ING and UNICEF will conduct in February.

    The ‘Fintech for Impact’ program aims to look for start-up companies building innovative tools that will serve the financially excluded and hardest-to-reach communities in the country. ING and UNICEF’s Office of Innovation are particularly interested in companies that use fintech in new, ground-breaking ways that are scalable and globally applicable.

    Some of the areas that fintech solutions can address include: financial services, credit, transparency, and financial education.

    “In recent years, ING has been leveraging on technology to be more client-centric and sustainable. As part of our innovation strategy, ING has sourced over 6,000 ideas from employees, developed 166 financial technology (fintech) partnerships, set up a $300-million fund for fintech development, and employed 250 data analysts in its innovation labs in Amsterdam and Singapore. In the Philippines, ING brought its branchless banking model and launched the country’s first all-digital bank that also supports financial inclusion. We also strive to make a bigger impact on the planet by financing sustainability initiatives. Our ‘Fintech for Impact’ program with UNICEF is aligned with our social responsibility as an institution,” said Hans Sicat, ING Philippines country head.

    He said utilizing fintech solutions is one way to ensure that gains from the Philippines’ economic growth will benefit many, including the most marginalized sectors in the country.

    “ING and UNICEF are bullish about the potential that these fintech start-ups have to offer.

    The fast-changing technology landscape is an opportunity for youth and families to spur inclusive economic growth through financial inclusion and solutions,” Sicat added.

    ING is a global financial institution with a strong European base, offering banking services through its operating company ING Bank. The purpose of ING Bank is empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. ING Bank’s more than 52,000 employees offer retail and wholesale banking services to customers in over 40 countries.

    In Asia Pacific, ING offers wholesale banking across 14 markets, namely Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

    ING offers both retail and wholesale banking services in Australia. The bank also started its digital banking platform in the Philippines in 2018. ING’s regional presence includes a 13-percent stake in Bank of Beijing, China and a 30-percent stake in TMB in Thailand.