Rethinking Digital Financial Inclusion: Evidence from Bangladesh
Abdul Aziz and
No 7sr5c, SocArXiv from Center for Open Science
A growing body of literature is advancing the impact of financial inclusion and digital finance on marginalized populations. However, mainstream scholarship has not focused on understanding the potential drivers and challenges of digital approaches to financial inclusion. This study aims to investigate the mismatch between assumptions implicit in the financial inclusion discourse and ideas of access and use of digital technologies and seeks to move the discourse forward through a comprehensive framework for digital financial inclusion. Our study showed that the social dynamics of financial engagement with new technologies require a move beyond a simple individualistic adopter/non-adopter binary framework and ‘supply oriented’ financial infrastructure. We conclude that although digital services have eased and bridged the gap of physical access to financial services, such services have not been utilised due to lack of basic connectivity, financial literacy and social awareness. This article theoretically contributes to digital financial services adoption literature by offering a significant critical overview and a new perspective on both digital finance and financial inclusion mechanisms.
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