Fintech as a Strategy of Financial Inclusion in the Age of Digitalization

Journal of APEC Studies Vol. 11 No. 2 (December 2019 93-106)

20 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2020

See all articles by Hyoeun Yang

Hyoeun Yang

Institute for Global Economics

Date Written: December 10, 2019


Inclusive growth is at the top of international organizations’ agenda in recent years and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is no exception. Since the 2008 global financial crisis revealed the intrinsic limitations of market-driven economic system despite its own merits incomparable to other alternatives, civil society and policymakers altogether have called for more shrewd policy actions that can achieve two critical public policy goals at once: promoting financial empowerment of the less privileged and enhancing competition in the financial market. While the emergence of fintech in financial markets in the past few years cannot be attributed to the competence of financial regulators and policymakers as to this call, what fintech has already achieved in terms of financial inclusion and competence of financial markets through disruption of traditional financial market structure demonstrate the importance of fintech as a strategy and policy tool of achieving the goal of inclusive growth. This strategy of achieving financial inclusion and financial market competition via fintech is more relevant to the APEC member countries because the region includes fast-growing fintech markets such as China, India, and Russia. Moreover, the growing significance of fintech services for SMEs (Business-to-Business, B2B) implies that fintech services have more relevance to the APEC economies as SMEs account over 97% of enterprises and employ over half of the workforce in the region.

Keywords: APEC, financial inclusion, fintech, fintech ecosystem, inclusive growth, SMEs

JEL Classification: A13, E44, G20

Suggested Citation

Yang, Hyoeun, Fintech as a Strategy of Financial Inclusion in the Age of Digitalization (December 10, 2019). Journal of APEC Studies Vol. 11 No. 2 (December 2019 93-106), Available at SSRN: or

Hyoeun Yang (Contact Author)

Institute for Global Economics ( email )

Korea World Trade Center
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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