Fintechs and Financial Inclusion: Looking past the hype and exploring their potential
Fintechs are innovating at every step of the financial services value chain, often through new value propositions, including flexible products and better ways to address the financial challenges faced by low-income customers. They are making financial services more affordable and accessible. They are improving the customer experience of financial services and accelerating use and engagement. They are also building the groundwork—including easier digital identity verification, collaborative customer due diligence, data sharing, and payment schemes—that can catalyze a host of financial services. This paper documents CGAP’s work with 18 fintech pilots in Africa and South Asia. The goal of this paper is to explain innovations in a detailed way and generate insight on whether the services (i) work as stated, (ii) create value for underserved customers, and (iii) ease age-old pain points in delivering financial services to underserved customers.