The Promises and Perils of Investor-Driven Fintech: Forging People-Centered Alternatives

This paper examines the spectacular rise of fintech, an innovation that constitutes a historic discontinuity in the structure, operations and conduct of financial systems everywhere. It provides a corrective to the rapidly proliferating myths and falsehoods surrounding the capacity of fintech to address poverty and promote sustainable and equitable local economic and social development in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by extending financial inclusion. It points out that the basic fintech model is actually an "investor-driven" fintech model that has evolved to overwhelmingly serve the private enrichment and ideological agendas of a narrow global elite and therefore the fintech model is being "sold" to governments in LMICs on the basis of an almost entirely false premise – that it will deliver major economic and social benefits to all citizens – when the evidence suggests otherwise.

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By Milford Bateman , Fernando Amorim Teixeira