On one hand, the Chinese financial system and economy have faced one of the fastest and most intense transformations due to the rise of disruptive technologies applied to the financial sector. On the other hand, Brazil has seen big changes going on in its traditional banking system and payment industry during the last years. No matter the path of these “revolutions”, these two countries are certainly experiencing how new technologies can be applied to and alter their economies.
In order to better understand the impact of new digital economic environment that has emerged in these countries during the last decade, this work will compare the eruption and consolidation of Chinese and Brazilian FinTech companies1 and startups – especially those focused on the payment sector. This cross-country comparison based on the most different cases, but with similar outcomes will rely on data collected from different sources such as reports provided by governmental agencies and Central Banks, interviews with Brazilian and Chinese experts, entrepreneurs and policy-makers and other field observations made by the author.
All this effort of collecting, interpreting and comparing data aims to provide enough information to answer the following research questions:
i. “Do new financial technologies boost Inclusive Economic Growth in developing countries?” and
ii. “What are the major factors affecting the adoption of these new financial technologies?”
Aiming to answer these questions, this research relies on a neoclassical economic framework, as it sees Economic Growth as a product of the interaction between variables such as Labor, Capital, Land, Economic Efficiency, Wage, among others. Additionally, it also understands Inclusive Economic Growth as a particular variation of Economic Growth itself. Indeed, it also recognizes that Inclusive Economic Growth happens when the economic production process involves even the most excluded and poor sectors of a society, allowing them to take part in, contribute to and benefit from this process.
Before drawing any conclusions about the impact of new financial technologies in Inclusive Economic Growth, this work firstly addresses theoretical topics and methodological considerations. After that, it goes deeper in the analysis of the emergence, consolidation and characteristics of FinTechs, firstly in China and, then, in Brazil. In the sequence, two emblematic case studies are presented: the Chinese Ant Financial/Alipay and the Brazilian PagSeguro, both companies focused on the payment sector. After describing these cases and the FinTech ecosystems in these countries, an analytical comparison will be developed in order to check whether the criteria for classifying these countries’ economic growths as inclusive growths were observed.
By the end of this Dissertation, it is hoped that a new understanding about the causal relation between Inclusive Economic Growth and the implementation of new financial technologies will be delimitated. Additionally, it is also expected that policy makers can use this paperwork to enhance their knowledge about the topic what might help them to implement more accurate policies and regulations that will allow their country and population to take the maximum of advantage of these new technologies while they efficiently flourish. Finally, it is also wished that both entrepreneurs, experts and the general public might find the information and conclusions here expressed useful to understand, invest and interact with the FinTech sector that is emerging all over the world.
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