Why Fintech is critical for helping migrants build a better world
Affy Bhatti is a migrant, venture builder and technologist and the Co-Founder of Bless Payments.
We all know that migrants to Australia, no matter where they come from, contribute to the rich tapestry of Australian society and economy, as well as deepen our culture, but we may not realise the significant role they play in shaping the destinies of their countries of origin through the blessings they send back home.
It cannot be overstated just how big of an impact this can have.
Australian money, compared to the currencies where most of our migrants come from tends to be worth a lot more – a dollar earned here translates into a significant sum when converted into most other national currencies – so migrants here can make a big difference to their families and communities back home.
Fintech has a big role to play in making money transfers fair, equitable, convenient and effective. The act of sending a blessing represents more than just money. An amount – no matter how large or small – comes from a place of love, sacrifice, and a deep-rooted connection to people who, because of migration, are now physically very distant. Each dollar can support everything from education and healthcare to even helping people launch businesses and develop their entire community.
These are blessings that can help global communities in so many ways – there’s not a day where we don’t hear inspiring stories about what Australian money has done for migrants and their families back home. Here are just some examples:
Education: Australian money can (and does) help children from around the world access quality education, which would otherwise be limited due to financial constraints. The money can cover everything from school fees, books, uniforms, scholarships or even building schools! So this means more than just textbooks! Suddenly, young minds are empowered to break free from the cycle of poverty and contribute to their communities’ development, and there’s a long-term ripple effect that can lead to a more educated, skilled, and empowered workforce in communities where previous opportunities were so limited.
Healthcare: Access to adequate healthcare facilities and services is a challenge in many developing nations. It’s a challenge for many of us in Australia! Events like COVID over the last few years have made the importance of good healthcare more important than ever.
Australian migrants’ contributions often directly help people access healthcare (especially dentists – those are expensive in every country in the world). But we’ve also heard stories of money being used for so much more than that. Supporting doctors and building better healthcare infrastructure so that the entire community can access life-saving treatments. This is all possible, and a compelling way for migrants to give back to their homelands.
Entrepreneurship: The desire to start a business is universal across all people and in all corners of the world. We’ve heard some amazing stories about blessings from Australia helping people set up bakeries, buy farmland, or access the raw materials to start a handicrafts business.
Through this migrants help people back home chase their dreams. At the same time, the money from Australia helps create better economic opportunities, jobs, and a more stable community for everyone.
Building communities: Often a migrant will want to support their entire home village or town. Small blessings can be used to help dig wells and access fresh water. It’s amazing just how much can be achieved, we’ve heard stories of bridges and roads being built, to make a village more accessible and open new opportunities for locals. Sanitation infrastructure helps prevent the spread of disease, and community centres and sports facilities help make life more joyful for all around.
Disaster Relief: There are few feelings more heartbreaking than being in Australia watching the news as a typhoon, tsunami, flood, fire, earthquake or volcano devastates the hometown. This hits migrants the hardest, and it’s impossible to shake the feeling of helplessness when all you can do is watch it on television.
It might seem like a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, but being able to quickly get money to local communities in times like these can make all the difference. These funds can be mobilised to provide immediate relief, including food, shelter, and medical aid. And then in the longer term, they can assist with the rebuilding.
It’s natural to want to give back to a community that gave you so much when growing up. Relocating to Australia and participating in our community as a migrant doesn’t change that. What’s important is that it’s easy, convenient and fast to share the good fortune.