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Democratizing Finance

The Radical Promise of Fintech

Marion Laboure, Nicolas Deffrennes

ISBN 9780674987227

Publication date: 04/05/2022

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We are only in the early stages of a broader revolution that will impact every aspect of the global economy, including commerce and government services. Coming financial technology innovations could improve the quality of life for all people.

Over the past few decades, digital technology has transformed finance. Financial technology (fintech) has enabled more people with fewer resources, in more places around the world, to take advantage of banking, insurance, credit, investment, and other financial services. Marion Laboure and Nicolas Deffrennes argue that these changes are only the tip of the iceberg. A much broader revolution is under way that, if steered correctly, will lead to huge and beneficial social change.

The authors describe the genesis of recent financial innovations and how they have helped consumers in rich and poor countries alike by reducing costs, increasing accessibility, and improving convenience and efficiency. They connect the dots between early innovations in financial services and the wider revolution unfolding today. Changes may disrupt traditional financial services, especially banking, but they may also help us address major social challenges: opening new career paths for millennials, transforming government services, and expanding the gig economy in developed markets. Fintech could lead to economic infrastructure developments in rural areas and could facilitate emerging social security and healthcare systems in developing countries. The authors make this case with a rich combination of economic theory and case studies, including microanalyses of the effects of fintech innovations on individuals, as well as macroeconomic perspectives on fintech’s impact on societies.

While celebrating fintech’s achievements to date, Laboure and Deffrennes also make recommendations for overcoming the obstacles that remain. The stakes—improved quality of life for all people—could not be higher.

Praise

  • Provides a detailed account of the economic and social impacts of financial innovations…We recommend this book to readers…who aspire to comprehend contemporary disruptive innovations in finance and the impact of these innovations on the wider economy.

    —Kirti Sood and Simarjeet Singh, Journal of Evolutionary Economics

Authors

  • Marion Laboure is a Senior Economist at Deutsche Bank in London and Lecturer at Harvard University. She has extensive private sector, public policy, and monetary policy experience, including at the European Commission, the IMF, the Luxembourg Central Bank, and Barclays. She received first prize from the American Society of Actuaries, Revue Banque nominated her as a rising star in finance, and Business Insider named her a cryptocurrency mastermind.
  • Nicolas Deffrennes is a consultant, investor, entrepreneur, and lecturer. He is the founder of Le Grand Verre, an e-commerce platform for wine. As a venture capitalist, he helped to create the Aldermore Bank in London and also worked on digital, technological, and banking projects across Europe, Africa, North America, and Asia for McKinsey & Company.

Book Details

  • 288 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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