Multiple financial inclusion professionals, seen nodding vigorously throughout a two-hour lunch panel at the latest industry gathering, revealed a large gap in their understanding of the technical terms used by the panelists.
“I have listened to several discussions of the differences between financial literacy, financial capability and financial health, and I still don’t get it,” a member of the group said.
An area financial inclusion program officer stated, “After 8 months [of working] here, I’ve finally gotten the hang of talking about appropriate product design and delivery, but what in Steve Jobs’ name is insurtech, and how do I strike up a conversation about digital identity at the water cooler?”
Another employee, added, “I can’t describe what I do to my mom without throwing around the words like P2P lending and supply chain financing. Our last call was dropped. Apparently, my mom had a ‘bad signal.’”
Even long-term financial inclusion professionals reported that they were having trouble keeping up with new terms. “Back in my day, words like fintech, regtech, insurtech, blockchain, neobank, and cryptocurrency didn’t exist. The only word I ever needed to know to secure project funding and to get keynote invitations was microfinance,” said one 55-year old who wished to remain anonymous. “Times have changed. They don’t make buzzwords like they used to.”
To add to his chagrin, he recently attended a discussion on regulatory “sandboxes” with plastic buckets and shovels, only to find regulators in suits. “I thought it was some Zen thing where we were going to create mandala with sand, or get in touch with our creative side.”
To eliminate unnecessary jargon and educate employees on terms deemed critical, the human resources departments of multiple financial inclusion organizations have planned a brown bag on Monday, April 1, at the Wyndham Hotel in D.C.
The event, titled “Enabling smallholder farmer consumer centricity for neobanks and telcos through increasing the machine learning capacity of regulators: a new consumer protection investment thesis in the age of cryptocurrency and blockchain,” to be securely streamed live on Facebook.
Yeah, we’re teasing, but let’s try to de-jargonize our work. Happy April Fools’ Day!