The idea of a social good can trace its history back to the philosophers of ancient Greece. It is defined as something that benefits the largest number of people in the largest possible way. Examples might be clean air and water, healthcare or literacy. The provision of social goods provides the basis for charitable and philanthropic work. In the 21st century, Fintech can have a similar affect.
The idea that Fintech can be a social good derives from its use in developing and frontier markets to enable access to basic human amenities and thus improve the overall quality of life. The main example of this is the use of fintech solutions to deliver access to basic financial services to the large number of people the developing world who have been left underbanked or totally unserved by traditional financial institutions.
For those people in the world earning less than $2 per day, digital finance could be transformative. Access to digital finance could increase income in the Philippines and Indonesia by 10%, and by as much as 30% in Cambodia. And while countries like India, where 99% of the population has a bank account, prove the potential of financial inclusion drives, nations such as Kenya, where almost one in three adults are without an account, show how much work potential there is for improvement.