While most studies on digital financial inclusion highlight its positive aspects, we focus on the surveillance phenomenon by investigating the role played by microcredit agents who operate digital financial platforms. We combine the concepts of surveillance capitalism and platform capitalism within the digital financial inclusion process and propose a surveilled inclusion model that considers the role of human agents interacting with clients to expand the network effects and control of the digital platform in a dialectic interplay. We combine instrumental/in-depth case study and critical hermeneutics as methodological strategies to produce results that help to uncover the hidden agenda of social fintech organizations that use digital platforms to provide microcredit. In addition, we expand Zuboff’s concept of surveillance capitalism by including the role of microcredit agents who reinforce the imprisonment of clients in endless cycles of payment and credit renewal.
Siqueira, Érica S.; Diniz, Eduardo Henrique; and Pozzebon, Marlei, "Surveilled Inclusion and the Pitfalls of Social Fintech Platforms" (2023). JAIS Preprints (Forthcoming). 90.
Available at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/jais_preprints/90