The Fintech Effect | Consumer impact and the future of finance

In this annual research series, we provide insights and analysis about financial technology's (fintech's) impact on consumers. This year, we focus on financial access, well-being, and engagement.

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A force for good

But one question persists in the minds of financial services providers, policymakers, and innovators: What is the actual impact of fintech on consumers’ financial lives?

As a provider of data connectivity to power the fintech ecosystem, Plaid wants to understand how consumers use fintech, how they feel about it, and how it impacts their lives—so we partnered with The Harris Poll to ask them. We learned three things:

  • Fintech improves their financial well-being

  • Fintech expands their access to the financial ecosystem

  • Fintech creates a virtuous cycle of experimentation, results, and confidence

Fintech improves financial well-being

Fintech gives Americans more control over their finances (73%) and reduces financial anxiety (68%). More than half of fintech users say it has helped them save time (55%), and a similar number say it has helped them save money (45%).


73% of Americans say that fintech will be the "new normal" after COVID-19.


Two-thirds of people making under $50k/year say they get better results with fintech.


Three-quarters of Americans say technology makes it easier to try new financial areas.

Fintech expands financial access

Fourteen percent of low-income earners started banking for the first time with fintech. In fact, Fintech usage is more egalitarian than that of traditional financial services: Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics use fintech more than whites.

“I had a lot of money fear, but having technology showed me, ‘Oh, this is something you can do.’ And if you educate yourself, you can actually make wise financial decisions.”
- Focus Group Participant

Fintech helps people engage more deeply with their finances

Three-quarters of Americans said technology makes it easier to try new financial areas (76%). Once consumers start using fintech, nine in ten say they plan to continue using fintech to address their financial challenges (89%).