Fintech: Financial Inclusion or Exclusion?

35 Pages Posted: 24 May 2022

See all articles by Yoke Wang Tok

Yoke Wang Tok

IMF–Singapore Regional Training Institute

Dyna Heng

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: May 1, 2022


This paper examines the role of Fintech in financial inclusion. Using Global Findex data and emerging fintech indicators, we find that Fintech has a higher positive correlation with digital financial inclusion than traditional measures of financial inclusion. In the second stage of our empirical investigation, we examine the key factors that are correlated with the Fletcher School’s three digital divide – gender divide, class (rich-poor) divide and rural divide. The results indicate that greater use of fintech is significantly associated with a narrowing of the class divide and rural divide but there was no impact on the gender divide. These findings imply that Fintech alone may not be sufficient to close the gender gap in access to financial services. Fintech development may need to be complemented with targeted policy initiatives aimed at addressing the gender gap directly, and at changing attitudes and social norms across demographics.

Keywords: Fintech, Financial Inclusion, Financial Development, Inequality, Fintech development, class divide, role of Fintech, appendix A. data definition, Fintech proxy, Digital financial services, Gender inequality, Mobile banking, East Asia, Caribbean, Asia and Pacific, Global, Middle East, Southeast Asia

JEL Classification: E44, E42, J16

Suggested Citation

Tok, Yoke Wang and Heng, Dyna, Fintech: Financial Inclusion or Exclusion? (May 1, 2022). IMF Working Paper No. 2022/080, Available at SSRN:

Yoke Wang Tok (Contact Author)

IMF–Singapore Regional Training Institute ( email )

79 Robinson Road, #16-01

Dyna Heng

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics