Financial Services

Financial services are the activities that help people manage their money. They include everything from providing a safe place to store savings, to helping people invest their money so it can grow over time. They also include helping people borrow and make payments. The financial services industry is a huge part of the economy. The more healthy it is, the better it is for consumers and businesses of all sizes.

Financial service providers channel cash from savers to borrowers and redistribute risk. For example, banks provide deposit products such as checking and savings accounts. They also offer loans to people who need capital for things like buying a home or starting a business. They assess the creditworthiness of borrowers and determine interest rates. They can also provide investment products such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Financial services providers can even help people protect their assets by providing insurance policies like life, health and property coverage.

Most people depend on financial services to get by in their daily lives. But they can be difficult for families living in poverty to access. Only a fifth of families in developing countries use financial services to keep their money safe. Instead, many of them store their savings under the mattress or in a box in their house – an unsafe and inflexible way to accrue and access money.

People without access to financial services often struggle to pay their bills and keep their credit in good standing. They may need debt resolution services that help them negotiate with their creditors to reduce their outstanding balances, or payment processing solutions that allow sellers to accept credit and debit cards in exchange for a small percentage of the transaction.