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The role of fintech in driving financial inclusion in developing and emerging markets: issues, challenges and prospects

Victor Ediagbonya (School of Law, University of Essex, Colchester, UK)
Comfort Tioluwani (School of Law, University of Essex, Colchester, UK)

Technological Sustainability

ISSN: 2754-1312

Article publication date: 12 July 2022

Issue publication date: 10 January 2023

3279

Abstract

Purpose

In recent times, various governments in the developing and emerging markets are increasingly embracing financial technology to help improve financial inclusion and integration within the governments' countries. One of the primary goals of using such technology is to reduce poverty. This paper explores Fintech innovations' effectiveness in developing and emerging markets in driving financial inclusion using Nigeria as a case study. The paper explores the challenges militating against financial inclusion and the role of government, financial institutions, and fintech companies in ensuring financial inclusion for the vast majority of the unbanked population in the developing and emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on doctrinal, sociological, and comparative research methodologies. The researchers conducted a content analysis drawing on data from both primary and secondary sources, including existing legislation, journal articles, newspaper reports, and policy documents.

Findings

The research showed that the financial inclusion gap has expanded despite the government, regulators, and financial institutions' various efforts by developing various digital platforms, including encouraging the use of smartphones for mobile payments and automated teller machines (ATMs) and mobile money. Several reasons are responsible for the gap in financial inclusion: illiteracy, poor infrastructural facilities, intermittent power supply, poor mobile receptions, especially in rural areas, constant banks' network failures, unnecessary charges, information asymmetry and data privacy breaches, amongst others.

Practical implications

Financial inclusion through fintech is essential in eradicating poverty in developing and emerging markets if adequately implemented. Therefore, this paper will be useful to researchers exploring how technology influences financial inclusion. The paper will also aid policymakers and practitioners in financial technology regulation to improve the effectiveness of policymakers and practitioners' policies and implementation strategies of financial inclusion in developing and emerging markets.

Originality/value

This research is significant, especially in developing and emerging markets, by exploring issues and challenges of fintech in promoting financial inclusion in challenging institutional contexts. This paper suggested potential areas for further research, particularly women's attitudes and expectations towards services provided by fintech companies and other financial institutions.

Keywords

Citation

Ediagbonya, V. and Tioluwani, C. (2023), "The role of fintech in driving financial inclusion in developing and emerging markets: issues, challenges and prospects", Technological Sustainability, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 100-119. https://doi.org/10.1108/TECHS-10-2021-0017

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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