Fintechs and Financial Education: Economic Development in a Digital Era | NTT DATA

Fri, 20 October 2023

Fintechs and Financial Education: Economic Development in a Digital Era

Technology-based financial services companies are key agents of change for financial inclusion and the perfect means to provide quality services to underserved customers or those in the financial maturity stage.

Financial inclusion is crucial to the region's economic and social development, positively impacting individuals and businesses. Many individuals and companies only use essential services occasionally but do not use savings, investment, or credit products. The real challenge of inclusion is to ensure that social and business groups evolve and capitalize on the value of these daily.

Financial education will allow us to reach the turning point. This topic has become so important that it has its celebration, Financial Education Day, an awareness day held every year on October 2. The key player that is developing a significant role is the fintech companies.

These companies, which combine finance and new technologies, have proven to be much more than financial service providers. They have established themselves as changemakers generating a financial inclusion revolution, especially in less mature markets such as Latin America.

According to the World Bank's Global Findex report, the percentage of banked people in developing economies rose from 42% to 71% in the last decade. Significant progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go.

Fintechs were born with innovation in their DNA. From the very beginning, they successfully used the power of digital technologies to disrupt geographic barriers and bring their services to where people need them, with very high efficiency. They reached customers not in attractive markets for traditional banks, such as rural areas with no reason to have a branch office or less profitable population segments.


Growing Inclusion Practices

The data speak for itself: according to the Mobile App Trends report conducted by the measurement and analytics company Adjust, Latin America is the region of the world with the highest growth in 2022 compared to the previous year in the number of fintech app sessions: 54% compared to 40% in Europe and 30% in Asia-Pacific. What are the secrets of success? Simple and agile solutions for a broader spectrum of customers.

According to a study by the consulting firm Kantar, fintechs can reach all age groups: 34% of users are between 18 and 29 years old, 38% are between 30 and 44, and 28% are over 45.

How can we promote this model of inclusion? The study identified five value levers that will increase the probability of future success and competitiveness of fintechs. These include gamification to generate higher adoption and engagement levels; security and data protection to multiply trust; technological innovation to remain relevant; and user-friendly to attract more customers to their services.

What about the fifth lever? Financial education, of course.  Not only does it increase customer loyalty and trust levels, but it also impacts business profitability, as more informed customers can invest more and better. Using the same concepts of everyday operations - agility, proximity to the customer, focus on people - fintech can become the perfect means for users to access reliable and transparent financial information.

Financial inclusion is synonymous with economic development, social equity, and quality of life. And financial education is the key that opens the door to a better future. 

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