Fintech for Financial Inclusion: The Case of Colombia
Freeman, Miriam B.
- Submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree Masters of International Business at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Abstract: Through this project, I hope to synthesize research on financial inclusion, technology for development, strategy, and policy as they apply to the emerging financial technology (fintech) landscape in Colombia. This capstone seeks to answer, to what extent is fi... read morentech advancing financial inclusion in Colombia, what factors are enabling and challenging its development, and what are the implications for economic development in post-conflict Colombia. After providing an overview of the evolution of financial inclusion, fintech, and the Colombian situation in particular, I will use the framework of the Financial Inclusion Quality Index (FIQI) developed by the Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC) at The Fletcher School to analyze success factors and inhibitors that I have identified in the country. Notably, Colombia ranks above average on ambiance and availability factors, and below average on affordability and adoption. These relative strengths and weaknesses can be attributed to business models, enabling legislation, and ecosystem-wide factors on the one hand, and trust, cultural aversions, and urban-rural cleavages on the other. I will elaborate on each element, providing short case studies and examples. Finally, I hope to offer practical and applicable recommendations for Colombia’s trajectory, made unique by its recent emergence from a half-century civil war. I hope this analysis will be of interest to the business community (both financial and digital), as well as policymakers and development consultants who are often in the position of making recommendations regarding such issues.read less