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Technology has irreversibly redefined the way we interact with money. Transformative ideas and innovations, many emerging in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, are spreading faster and more impactfully than ever before. Yet this is a story that remains largely untold. Despite their success, even the innovations of many of the world’s most prominent “FinTech” unicorns remain largely unknown concepts in the minds of everyday consumers and business owners. This series, Innovation in Finance, is a first attempt at resolving this discrepancy.
Below you will find a series of films that bring to life a carefully selected set of individual technological revolutions taking place across the global financial sector. Each of the projects showcased seeks to solve problems faced by groups and communities in managing fundamental financial products and processes. While often quite complex innovations, we have sought to focus on the individuals and communities they benefit as much as the technology involved. By translating the complex and the new into real-life stories told by real people, we hope this series helps its audiences understand better the world of financial technology and why it matters in 2020.
This task has never felt quite as urgent as it does in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The relevance of physical banking, the value of inclusive and accessible finance, the necessity for large-scale collaboration between governments, incumbent institutions and innovators… this series is intended to serve as a conversation starter for questions that urgently require answers. We will continue to regularly update this site with new content addressing these questions and, ultimately, launch a documentary that incorporates stories such as those told below into a broader narrative about the transformation of finance globally.
In promoting these stories to international BBC.com audiences online, we hope to educate, inform and maybe even entertain individuals that we know share a common interest in the individual subjects of finance and technology, but perhaps not financial technology – yet.
We hope you will join us in sharing these stories beyond the BBC.com usership, to help us reach new audiences in your personal and professional circles. Please enjoy this first iteration of the Innovation in Finance series, and keep an eye out for the final documentary once it goes live.
Making the Digital Economy Work for Everyone
When Lucy Njoki Njoroge opened a kiosk in an informal settlement on the outskirts of Nairobi, she lacked the credit to fully stock it. She often only had enough money to buy single packets of Omo laundry soap to sell to her customers. Stocking a 1-kilogram box of soap? Out of her reach.