Track chairs

  • Stan Karanasios (stan.karanasios[at], RMIT University, Australia)
  • Mira Slavova (mira[at], Gordon Institute of Business Science, UK)
  • Alem Molla (alemayehu.molla[at], RMIT University, Australia)

Overview of the Research area

This track aims to develop understanding on the role of FinTech in developing countries and how it can address development issues around financial inclusion and more broadly how it may spur development driven innovation. In addition to being a forum on high quality research the track aims to act as a platform to (i) engage ICTD scholars on research on FinTech; (ii) provide a forum to extend the development of research in this field; and, (iii) provide a networking opportunity for scholars already undertaking research in this area. A track on FinTech will enable the conference to attract some work is relevant to ICTD, but would otherwise be published in other IS, development or management conferences.

From a technological perspective, FinTech constitutes the application of emerging technologies such as social, mobile, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain and cryptocurrencies in designing and delivering innovative financial services (Gulamhuseinwala et al. 2015). From a firm perspective, FinTech refers to new types of firms (some start-ups and others established e.g. technology firms) that provide technology enabled financial services either in collaboration or in competition with incumbent financial firms. Beyond the technology and the firm view, FinTech encompasses shifting consumer preferences, venture capital investments and conducive economic and regulatory conditions. Hence, FinTech can also be described as a new paradigm in the financial sector, whereby new synergies are generated (Sekhon et al. 2015), and the relationships among finance organisations, technology providers and customers are being re-orientated (Gulamhuseinwala et al. 2015; Hayes 2016).

The combination of social, mobile, analytic, cloud and IoT advancements and business models, alongside changes in contemporary socio-technical consumer lifestyles (Gulamhuseinwala et al. 2015) have enabled the provision of new FinTech products and ways for people to interact and exchange value. This is both threatening and supplanting the existing dominant modes of products, institutions, relationships and services. For example, the adoption of Bitcoin was one of the  proposals that was considered to overcome the crisis that might have followed had Greece left Euro in 2015 (Hayes 2016). In partnership with telcos, global technological companies such as Google, Apple, Alibaba have also joined the Fintech firms bandwagon by launching the Google Pay, Apple Pay and WeBank mobile payment systems (Kuo Chuen & Teo 2015). Solutions from FinTech companies such as MPesa, Klarna, Square, Motif have been able to use technology to provide customers newer, cheaper, easier, faster and more efficient ways for financial transactions (KPMG 2014). Furthermore, the advancements in technology solutions have continued to provide innovative platforms for people to store and transfer their money (Polasik et al. 2015). Combined, these developments have the potential to address many issues in developing countries around financial inclusion, spur innovation as well as generate a new sub-theme within the ICTD field. 

Exemplar topics and types of contributions looked-for

The objective of this track is to highlight the emerging area of FinTech in developing countries and its role in development by drawing on new and outstanding research. As a new area of research topics of interest for the track include, but are not limited to:

  • The role of technology firms in meeting the financial inclusion needs of citizens.
  • How FinTech start-ups address the needs of citizens in developing countries.
  • How incumbents are responding to the FinTech phenomenon.
  • Bottom-up initiatives.
  • Developments around blockchain and cryptocurrencies in development settings.
  • Novel theoretical perspectives to generate insights in the area of FinTech.
  • Novel methods to study the role of FinTech at a macro and micro level.
  • Crossovers between FinTech and other areas such as agriculture, health, etc.  

Ideally, submissions will provide new understandings FinTech. Submissions will be evaluated using rigorous criteria associated with high quality academic research.

Associate editors

  • Professor David Allen, University of Leeds, UK
  • Dr Jyoti Mishra, University of Bradford, UK
  • Dr Chin Ong, RMIT University, Australia
  • Associate Professor Par-Ola Zander, University of Aalborg, Denmark
  • Dr Sam Takavarasha, Fort Hare University, South Africa
  • Dr Aljona Zorina, University of Leeds, UK
  • Professor Hepu Deng, RMIT University, Australia
  • Associate Professor Antonio Diaz Andrade, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
  • Dr Fathul Wahid, Universitas Islam Indonesia, Indonesia
  • Professor Niall Hayes, University of Lancaster, UK

References and Bibliography

Barrett, M., & Walsham, G. (1999). Electronic Trading and Work Transformation in the London Insurance Market. Information Systems Research, 10(1), 1-22.

Currie, W. L., & Lagoarde-Segot, T. (2017). Financialization and information technology: themes, issues and critical debates – part I. Journal of Information Technology, 32(3), 211-217. doi: 10.1057/s41265-017-0044-8.

Foster, C., & Heeks, R. (2013). Innovation and scaling of ICT for the bottom-of-the-pyramid. J Inf technol, 28(4), 296-315. doi: 10.1057/jit.2013.19.

Gulamhuseinwala, I., Bull, T., & Lewis, S. (2015). FinTech is gaining traction and young, high-income users are the early adopters. The Journal of Financial Perspectives, 3(3), 1-17.

Hayes, A. (2016). Decentralized Banking: Monetary Technocracy in the Digital Age. SSRN eLibrary.

Hodgson, C. (2017). The world's unbanked, in 6 charts.   Retrieved October 1, 2017, from

KPMG. (2014). The South African Insurance Industry Survey 2014.

Kuo Chuen, D. L., & Teo, E. G. (2015). Emergence of FinTech and the LASIC principles. Journal of Financial Perspectives, 3(3), 24-36.

McKenney, J. L., Mason, R. O., & Copeland, D. G. (1997). Bank of America: The crest and trough of technological leadership. MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, 21(3), 321-353.

Polasik, M., Piotrowska, A. I., Wisniewski, T. P., Kotkowski, R., & Lightfoot, G. (2015). Price fluctuations and the use of Bitcoin: An empirical inquiry. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 20(1), 9-49.

Sekhon, H. S., Al-Eisawi, D., Roy, S. K., & Pritchard, A. (2015). Service excellence in UK retail banking: customers’ perspectives of the important antecedents. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 33(7), 904-921.