Fintechs and Financial Inclusion: Looking Past the Hype and Exploring Their Potential
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.
It is written for funders—whether donors, investors, development finance institutions, or philanthropic organizations—who engage with fintechs to advance financial inclusion. Many early-stage fintechs that have potentially game-changing ideas are considered too risky for private capital, so they depend on patient capital from global development and impact investing communities. The lessons learned through the pilots can help funders better understand the potential impact of fintechs in the financial inclusion space and inform their funding decisions.