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The Digital Revolution in Financial Inclusion: International development in the fintech era

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JournalNew Political Economy
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Nov 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Aug 2017
Issue number4
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)423-436
Early online date28/11/16
Original languageEnglish


This paper examines the growing importance of digital-based financial inclusion as a form of organising development interventions through networks of state institutions, international development organisations, philanthropic investment and fintech companies. The fintech–philanthropy–development complex generates digital ecosystems that map, expand and monetise digital footprints. Its ‘know thy (irrational) customer’ vision combines behavioural economics with predictive algorithms to accelerate access to, and monitor engagement with, finance. The digital revolution adds new layers to the material cultures of financial(ised) inclusion, offering the state new ways of expanding the inclusion of the ‘legible’, and global finance new forms of ‘profiling’ poor households into generators of financial assets.

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© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • International development, financial inclusion, fintech, digital technologies, financialisation, behavioural economics, governmentality


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