The social impact imperative of FinTechs

The consumer financial system has an important role to play in achieve complex global goals such as ending poverty, abolishing hunger, moving to renewable energy and reducing inequality since the flow of capital affects every part of life. Even so, very few financial service organizations have made a true commitment to such sustainability by creating programs, products and policies that adequately address environmental and social risks. And this is where many FinTech organizations are stepping in and getting it right. By working “one piece at a time”, “unbundling financial services” and taking advantage of the power of open APIs, many FinTech organizations are working to: (1) establish peer groups and communities focused more on causes and desired outcomes than on sectors and tools, (2) create a learning environment by taking the best from others and opening themselves up for others to build upon and (3) understand the way(s) in which they are uniquely positioned to create meaningful social impact throughout the world.

To be clear, these FinTech organizations are not simply alternative charities, nor should they be. Rather, these organizations are creating differentiated and profitable business strategies by throwing out the tired old notion that doing something good and making a profit are in opposition. Social enterprises understand very well that the key to profitability is in the core of a provocative social mission and that the future of FinTech is one in which scale, profitability and social impact are symbiotic and feed off of each other.