Financial wellness

This project will explore the rise of fintech ventures that specifically address different aspects of financial wellness around the world.

The finance industry has started to undergo a dramatic change in the past 5 years, with the rise of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain and the implementation of new regulations.

What is particularly important to note about the fintech boom is that improving financial wellness in society and reducing inequality are common goals stated by fintech founders around the world. Many of the fintechs entering the market are working to make finance more transparent and customer friendly by:

  • addressing key societal issues such as financial literacy
  • providing access to financial advice and debt management through easy to use apps
  • developing money management platforms and online debt repayment tools. 

However, without a favourable regulatory framework or collaboration with the incumbent financial institutions that they hope to disrupt, many of these start-ups struggle to reach enough customers. In addition, having to spend considerable time and funds to acquire regulatory licenses leaves less money for technology development and marketing, without which fintechs are unable to innovate and have societal impact.

This project aims to address issues standing in the way of innovation for financial wellness, with data collected from fintech ventures, regulators and citizens.

 

Key research questions

Technology and data
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Perspective: What strategies do emerging fintech firms employ to improve consumers’ financial wellness and reduce inequality? What challenges do they face and how do they overcome the financial, regulatory, and cultural barriers that prevent them from reaching their market potential? Are there business models and regional policy differences that enable easier growth?

 

  • Policy Perspective: What government policies (e.g. data protection and sharing, licensing) and implementation schemes (e.g. consumer education programs, regulatory and data sandboxes) help fintech firms (and collaborating incumbents) innovate to improve financial wellness in society?

 

For details and partnership opportunities, please contact  tom.childs@sbs.ox.ac.uk