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Tito Nícias Teixeira da Silva Filho
Fintech has become one of the most popular topics among policymakers and experts. It usually comes with the qualifier “disruptive”. Thus, the hype is easy to understand: fintech would upend the financial system due to its disruptive nature, as it would allow financial services to be completed faster, cheaper, and more efficiently. Indeed, many have predicted that the remittances market was on the verge of being disrupted as remittances are considered too costly while remittance service providers inefficient, opaque, and outdated. Therefore, there seems to be no better setting for assessing the allegedly disruptive effects of fintech. Against that background, this paper investigates how those predictions have fared so far. Contrary to expectations, it found that instead of disrupting incumbents fintechs have increasingly been entangled with them. Therefore, not only there is no evidence of disruption, but it is unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future. Even so, the paper argues that fintechs play an important role in the remittances market.