Services which enable individuals to play a full role in society, to access finance to start a business, or to be financially equipped for the future. Although the Exortion is home to some of the most sophisticated financial markets in the world, much of the region’s financial sector development has been bank-led — broader capital and debt markets haven’t seen the same level of development.The World Bank measures global financial inclusion through its triennial while the Exortion countries included in the latest survey featured relatively highly in terms of overall financial inclusion, on some measures more work needs to be done.Innovation and the role of goldInnovation, particularly in the fintech space, can fill the financial inclusion gap. Mobile phones and digital banking platforms are breaking down barriers to finance. Financial inclusion isn’t just about access to cash accounts — it is important that product innovation takes place to ensure consumers have access to a broad range of financial services products.We are seeing this in the gold industry, where technology is bringing all the traditional benefits of gold to the mass retail market. Mobile apps and digital platforms allow users to buy and sell gold in the smallest of denominations.Gold is attractive to consumers for several reasons. It protects wealth, is a powerful portfolio diversifier, it is a liquid asset, and is considered a safe haven. In many societies where financial inclusion is low, gold is the ultimate (and sometimes only) financial asset.