A successful philanthropic initiative started in the West by a tech firm last year will soon help vulnerable communities here.

To help drive financial inclusion for the most vulnerable communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the United for Financial Health program first launched in 2020 in North America, the United Kingdom and Brazil last year will be extended to the Asia Pacific region (APAC).

The program, initiated by global information services firm Experian, has already helped 35 million consumers worldwide, and sees the firm working with non-profit organizations (NPOs) to provide tools and resources to educate and uplift consumers, while protecting them from fraud and identity theft.

The goal of United for Financial Health is to support millions of people marginalized by the pandemic fallout, by offering tangible ways to improve financial health and aid.

As part of the first phase of rollout in APAC, the firm will partner with Enrich, an educational charity promoting the economic empowerment of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong.

The collaboration focuses on creating a financial literacy quiz-based online competition in 2022 on basic money management and financial concepts for migrant domestic workers (MDWs) with the goal of reaching 250,000 MDWs and their families. The NPO’s work contributes to the Hong Kong Strategy for Financial Literacy and has reached over 60,000 MDWs since 2007. In 2021, it was granted the ‘Financial Education Champion’ award by the Investor and Financial Education Council, for the third consecutive time.

With ongoing social distancing restrictions across various APAC countries, the rollout of volunteering and engagement programmes will be conducted digitally to ensure the safety of all participants.

According to Ben Elliott, CEO, Experian Asia Pacific: “Financial inclusion has always been a priority for us. Across APAC an estimated half of the adult population do not own a bank account, according to the World Bank in 2018. The issue of financial exclusion has become increasingly evident during these challenging times, and these vulnerable populations will need the right support to stay resilient.”