How Fintech Is Unbundling Banking And What That Means For Financial Inclusion

Banks used to be the sole providers of formal financial services. They were responsible for both the customer-facing and back-end aspects of delivering these services. Nowadays, fintechs that specialize in specific financial products are competing with banks on those products and often benefiting consumers by providing more choice. Poor consumers especially benefit when these fintechs bring financial products that were previously unavailable or unsuited to their needs. In addition, fintechs that specialize in delivering the specific processes and elements that go into making financial services are becoming better at those tasks. They are making their services available to multiple financial service providers and thereby creating economies of scale. When combined with improved effectiveness as a result of specialization, these economies of scale can lower costs, bring higher quality services, and help reach previously underserved or unserved people.

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Financial products and processes are being unbundled, reassembled, and embedded in entirely new ways that may change the very nature of banking. What does this mean for financial inclusion?