Financial Technologies and Crime: An overview of the state of the art in research pertaining FinTech and its implications for crime

Borja Álvarez

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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This report maps the cutting edge of research in FinTech, with a focus on understanding its relationship with crime. To do so, we must keep in mind that this is an ecosystem which evolves extremely fast, involves the whole financial services sector as a whole, andservices sector, and is truly global in nature. The starting point to tackle this phenomenon was therefore exploring its different, sometimes competing, definitions, highlighting its conceptual problems. The report then explores how any technological revolution brings both advantages and increased operational vulnerabilities, which can be exploited for criminal purposes. It concludesd that FinTech hasd either allowed for more efficient or complex ways of committing pre-existing offences or created new criminal opportunities altogether. As a result, research in FinTech is tackling four areas of interest for crime-oriented scholars and practitioners. These are fraud research, cybersecurity research, blockchain research, and money laundering research. Emphasis was put in the different data being used to investigate these phenomena, showcasing the pre-eminence of secondary data, and the nascent role of synthetic data. The report then moves to address the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the contemporary Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) market craze. It then finalizes by addressing the need to further investigate key issues such as money laundering, user confidence, and an urgent need to better grasp the NFT phenomenon. This work is part of the CyberUp initiative, a project funded by the Research Collaboration Fund for Research Staff of the University of Manchester.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Feb 2022


  • Financial Technologies
  • FinTech
  • Crime
  • COVID-19
  • Fraud
  • Money Laundering
  • Cybersecurity
  • Blockchain
  • Non-Fungible Tokens
  • Datasets
  • Synthetic Data


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