Financial technology innovations have forced a shift in traditional financial services paradigms and prompted large financial institutions to re-evaluate how they do business. The outsized impact that fintechs have had on the industry over the years has not only been disruptive, but quantifiable.
In 2018 alone, global investment in fintechs reached record levels ($112 billion). And while global fintech investment fell in the first half of 2019 ($22 billion), compared with $31.2 billion in the same period of 2018 (a decline of 29%), this lull is more reflective of broader trends in venture capital investment than it is an indictment on the prospects of future fintech growth.
Fintech’s positive impact can be traced back even further. Between 2011 and 2014, 700 million adults became account holders, and the unbanked population fell by 20%, down from 2.5 billion. And while globally, 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked, fintech is helping make financial services more accessible to an increasing number of people.
Despite fintech’s successes, a gap remains for women, rural residents, and other underserved communities. For this reason, responsible financial institutions cannot rest on their laurels nor become complacent – there is more work to be done to improve financial inclusion for women and those who remain financially excluded.