Finclusion to Fintech: Fintech Product Development for Low-Income Markets

44 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2017

Date Written: August 1, 2017


This paper is designed to help fintech innovators understand the unique money management strategies used by low-income people in the developing world. The paper is aimed to serve as a tool to help fintech providers design appropriate financial products that underserved individuals will want to use on a regular basis. In order to understand the needs and desires of low-income people, the paper presents detailed insights from 15 years of financial inclusion research, along with the latest industry data. In addition, through illustrative examples, informal money management techniques are compared to formal techniques used by high-income people. This comparison demonstrates why many informal financial tools are still the first choice for people in developing markets even where formal finance is available. The paper concludes by looking at some cutting-edge technological innovation in the fintech industry, and highlighting those that could better serve developing world markets.

Keywords: fintech, digital finance, mobile money, financial inclusion, inclusive fintech, financial technology, poverty, economic development

Suggested Citation

McCaffrey, Mike and Schiff, Annabel, Finclusion to Fintech: Fintech Product Development for Low-Income Markets (August 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Mike McCaffrey (Contact Author)

Ulana Insights ( email )

United States


Annabel Schiff

Independent ( email )

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