Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Background: Innovative financial technologies (fintech) are gradually changing how financial transactions and processes are conducted. The adoption of fintech not only benefits the financial sector but can also have a broader impact on society. Due to their ability to provide customized services to a wide range of stakeholders, fintech is gaining traction and experiencing significant growth. Compared to traditional financial institutions, fintech companies can reach a wider audience and operate more efficiently. In addition to upending traditional financial services, fintech can also provide financial services to marginalized groups. We argue that fintech research and practice should focus on seizing opportunities and addressing challenges related to financial inclusion, especially in emerging markets.

Method: We conducted a systematic literature review of 178 articles to understand the relationship between fintech and financial inclusion.

Results: Our analysis highlights six fintech research themes: fintech and financial inclusion, fintech adoption and use, fintech and sectoral growth, fintech and lending, and technology shaping the fintech. We also present four future themes (basic, driving, niche, and emerging or declining research) that can accelerate financial inclusion.

Conclusions: This study highlights the synergies between fintech and financial inclusion research. This study contributes to existing knowledge in three ways. First, the descriptive analysis maps existing research on fintech and financial inclusion. Second, the qualitative analysis provides a comprehensive overview of how fintech and financial inclusion topics is interconnected. Third, future research areas for fintech and financial inclusion were identified. In general, fintech democratizes financial inclusion for the unbanked and marginalized communities while reducing operating costs. Governments should promote financial inclusion among those most vulnerable and affected by global threats.