Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Inclusion Signpost accreditation?

  1. It drives the market to meet the specific needs of financially-excluded citizens
  2. It provides financial account product providers with a way to compare themselves to a best practice standard and each other, so they can become increasingly financially inclusive
  3. It provides consumers with a way to compare different financial account products, find out which would be most suitable for them, and see which are rated highest by industry leaders

Who will this benefit?

  • Financially-excluded consumers, offering clarity on which financial solutions best meet their needs
  • Companies, enabling them attract new customers by elevating themselves above the competition being distinguished by best-practice
  • Industry, by helping raise the standards of financially inclusive products in general
  • Society, reducing the necessity to be unbanked by increasing the ability to access to good financially-inclusive products

How long does the accreditation last?

The accreditation is awarded for the duration of 12 months. This is because:

  • Products and the environment they operate are adapting constantly and accreditation needs to keep pace
  • An annual evaluation offers assurance to the consumer that the product is fit for purpose at any given time
  • The accreditation benchmark should reflect the anticipated improvement across the marketplace of financially inclusive products and customer expectations

The criteria and measures are reviewed and revised every year by the judging panel with the input of partners who represent financially excluded audiences. These revisions are designed to reflect improvements in the functionality of payments products and the changing needs of vulnerable consumers.

How long does the application take?

We recommend allowing 2 hours for the application – less if you have all the information to hand.

Is there a cost?

The charge for assessment and accreditation contributes towards the operational costs of the accreditation

Application for 12-month accreditation (annual) – £3,000 +VAT

When will I know if our application has been successful?

You should hear whether the product has been put forward for accreditation within 4 weeks but you may be contacted by the accreditation team for request more information regarding your application or to secure understanding for clarification

What if the product does not pass the assessment?

The aim of Inclusion Signpost is to raise the standards of all financial products that aim to address financial exclusion. Where a submitted product fails to meet the standard for accreditation, you will receive transparent feedback to give clarity on what changes to make to reach the required standard. We would encourage you to address the issues in accordance with the feedback and to re-apply for accreditation once this is complete.

The decision of the accreditation process is final, but unsuccessful applicants are encouraged, and supported, in making the changes required for meet the required standards.

How do I know it is fair?

The criteria have been developed with the input of experts in financial inclusion and the payment industry. Acceptable responses are set against all criteria to ensure objectivity. Each application is then reviewed independently by three judges from the panel after confirmation that they have no personal or commercial relationship with that specific product. For more information on the judging panel, click here.

How secure is the information I provide?

The terms and conditions detail our commitment to confidentiality all the way through the application and assessment process. With experience of running the Emerging Payments Awards for over ten years, we are experienced in ensuring the confidentiality of all data.