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Are fintechs living up to their promise of financial inclusion?


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Many fintechs use the terms “financial inclusion” and “financial health” to promote their products or to explain why they beat traditional credit, lending and banking options.

But to what extent are they living up to this promise?

“There is still a long way to go,” Adrienne Harris, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, said during a fireside chat kicking off the Financial Technology Association‘s Fintech Summit on Wednesday. “There has been a lot of talk from the fintech space about this but it’s been more talk and marketing than results.”

Still, “the potential is there,” she said. “It has to be done safely and in a cost-effective way.”

At the summit, which took place in Washington, D.C., fintech leaders and researchers made their case that fintech has made a difference in enabling more equality in lending and helping community institutions, especially those that reach the underserved, compete with larger players. They pointed to machine learning and artificial intelligence as key tools that made this possible. They also highlighted open questions,…

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