Iran fintech startup Scott Peterson/Getty Images

Dar sentido ecológico a las finanzas digitales

BEIJING – Las finanzas digitales se han convertido en una revolución inesperada, sencillamente por permitir la inclusión financiera de bajo coste. Gracias a las nuevas tecnologías financieras (fintech), los consumidores pueden hacer sus compras sin complicaciones, los migrantes pueden enviar a sus familias de manera barata el dinero por el que tanto se han esforzado, las pequeñas empresas pueden acceder al crédito en minutos a través de perfiles alimentados con Big Data y los ahorristas pueden decidir en qué se invierten sus fondos. Pero hay otro factor que se debe tener en cuenta para que las fintech puedan llenar todo su potencial de promoción del bien público: el medio ambiente.

El Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA) publicó hace poco un informe titulado Fintech and Sustainable Development: Assessing the Implications (Las fintech y el desarrollo sostenible: evaluación de las implicaciones), en el que se explora cómo se pueden aprovechar las finanzas digitales para obtener beneficios ambientales. Como señala el informe, al reducir los costes y promover la eficiencia, las fintech ya están movilizando las finanzas ecológicas, haciendo posible que más personas con menos recursos tengan acceso a energías limpias mediante sistemas de pago innovadores y facilitando que tanto ricos como pobres puedan ahorrar en ellas.

Por ejemplo, la empresa emergente sueca Trine hace posible que los ahorristas del centro de Estocolmo financien sistemas de energía solar distribuida en áreas rurales a miles de kilómetros de distancia. En Kenia, M-KOPA está aprovechando la enormemente exitosa plataforma de pagos M-PESA para que las comunidades más pobres tengan acceso a agua potable. Otros experimentos destacan el potencial ecológico de la cadena de bloques (blockchain) y las criptomonedas.

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