President, European Fintech Association
The past years have been no easy feat for Europeans trying to make ends meet. An innovative financial services industry shows the potential to increase financial literacy and strengthen resilience.
A 2020 study by the OECD found that about half of the adult population in the European Union does not have a good enough understanding of basic financial concepts, also called the degree of financial literacy.
No money left at the end of the month
A lack of financial literacy is especially hard on those already economically disenfranchised: young people, people with lower income and women. While good financial literacy can’t remedy macroeconomic shocks, it does help equip individuals to deal with them better, the World Bank Group found. For example, with better saving habits and actively participating in financial markets.
Within Europe, we see a staggering discrepancy between the levels of financial literacy across regions: While countries such as Sweden or Germany are among the world’s best performers, others score well below average.
By making financial services accessible
digitally on a single device, fintechs
help to democratise financial services.
Increasing financial literacy
Fintech companies can lead the way in delivering comprehensive, innovative and understandable financial service products across borders for all Europeans that help consumers make informed decisions on their financial wellbeing.
By making financial services accessible digitally on a single device, fintechs help to democratise financial services. This holds especially true for those that feel uncomfortable entering brick-and-mortar branches. Fintechs offer easily accessible tools that empower citizens to make better financial choices. Given the current cost of living crisis, such tools are essential.
Political backing is needed
To address the diverging levels of financial literacy across the EU and help people take control of their financial wellbeing, we need European companies to provide their services to all European citizens across borders. Joint efforts of the industry and policymakers are needed to create future-forward regulation, comprising not only a single, harmonised EU rulebook but also efforts in decluttering the existing framework. This way, we can achieve a seamless digital internal market prioritising consumers.