Virtual Conference on Fintech and COVID-19

Event | 30 March - 1 April 2021
Online

Time of event

Day 1: 16:00–19:30 Tokyo time
Day 2: 16:00–19:20 Tokyo time
Day 3: 10:00–13:30 Tokyo time

Summary

The increased use of financial technology (fintech) during the COVID-19 pandemic has provided households in Asia and the Pacific with more efficient and shock-resilient financial services access, and also helped the region’s micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) remain economically viable by offering faster and cheaper financial services than traditional banking. Yet, relatively little is known about COVID-19’s impact on fintech-adopting firms’ business models and practices, as well as the risks fintech’s rapid acceleration poses to financial stability.

This ADBI-Asian Development Bank-Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, University of Cambridge Judge Business School virtual conference featured new research on fintech’s role in sustaining vulnerable groups such as poor households and MSMEs during the COVID-19 crisis. This included fintech-driven digital financial inclusion, inequality reduction, and balanced and sustainable economic growth. The conference also spotlighted the factors underpinning fintech providers’ pandemic era growth and resilience, and the wider financial stability risks fintech expansion can create.

Objectives
  • Explore fintech’s impacts on households and MSMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Examine the channels through which fintech affects the economy
  • Assess the drivers of fintech activity and related financial stability risks
Participants
  • Policy makers and researchers from think tanks, universities, and other institutions
Output
  • Enhanced understanding of fintech’s role in sustaining vulnerable households and MSMEs amid the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Greater impetus for related policy research, dialogue, and collaboration
  • Presentation slides to be made available on the ADBI website
  • Papers featured during the conference will be considered for publication as ADBI working papers and inclusion in an edited book
Partners
  • Asian Development Bank
  • Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School
Conference Presentations

Day 1.0.1: Keynote Speaker-Sharing Credit Data while Respecting Privacy – A Digital Platform for Fairer Financing of MSMEs
Jin Chuan Duan, Jardine Cycle & Carriage Professor of Finance; Executive Director, Asian Institute of Digital Finance, National University of Singapore

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Day 1.1.1: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Indonesia’s Fintech Markets
Eric Sugandi, Project Consultant, ADBI

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Day 1.1.2: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Indonesia’s Fintech Markets
Hasanul Banna, Research Fellow, University of Malaya

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Day 1.2.1: COVID-19, Digital Transactions and Economic Activities: Puzzling Nexus of Wealth Enhancement, Trade and Financial Technology
Muhammad Ayub Khan Mehar, Economic Advisor, Employers' Federation of Pakistan

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Day 1.2.2: COVID-19, Digital Transactions and Economic Activities: Puzzling Nexus of Wealth Enhancement, Trade and Financial Technology
John Beirne, Research Fellow, ADBI

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Day 1.3.1: Formulating a Fintech Strategic Roadmap to Spur a Post-COVID Inclusive Recovery
John Vong, Managing Director, International Centre for ASEANA Management

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Day 1.0.2: Keynote Speaker-Open banking, Fintech Entrepreneurship and the Pandemic: Friends or Enemies?
Pinar Ozcan, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Director of the Oxford Future of Fintech Initiative

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Day 2.0.1: Keynote Speaker-Fintech for Choice, Access & Inclusion
Amy Neale, Senior Vice-President for Fintech and Enablers, Mastercard

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Day 2.1.1: Towards a Data-Driven Financial System: The Impact of COVID-19
Nydia Remolina, Research Associate, Centre for AI and Data Governance, Singapore Management University

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Day 2.2.1: COVID-19 Impact on Cryptocurrencies and Traditional Markets: A Difference in-differences Approach
Antonis Ballis, PhD Fellow, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece

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Day 2.2.2: COVID-19 Impact on Cryptocurrencies and Traditional Markets: A Difference in-differences Approach
Sayuri Shirai, Professor of Economics, Keio University, Japan

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Day 2.3.1: Stress Testing Banks’ Digital Capabilities: Evidence From the COVID-19 Pandemic
Vesa Pursiainen, Assistant Professor, University of St. Gallen

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Day 2.0.2: Keynote Speaker-COVID-19 and Digital Finance: Impact and Prospect
Feng Zhu, Senior Research Director, Ant Financial

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Day 3.0.1: Keynote Speaker-The Promise of Fintech: Financial Inclusion in the Post COVID-19 Era
Ratna Sahay, Deputy Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF

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Day 3.1.1: Safety Net and Pandemic: The State of Social Benefit Payments during COVID-19
Abu Shonchoy, Assistant Professor, Florida International University

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Day 3.2.1: Agent Banking-Led Digital Financial Inclusion for Direct Cash Transfers through COVID-19 and beyond: Experience from India
Alreena Renita Pinto, Rural Development Specialist, World Bank
Amit Arora, Senior Financial Sector Advisor, World Bank

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Day 3.2.2: Agent Banking-Led Digital Financial Inclusion for Direct Cash Transfers through COVID-19 and beyond: Experience from India
Krishnan Dharmarajan, Executive Director, Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion

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Day 3.3.1: MSMEs, Fintech and COVID-19: Evidence from Bangladesh
Monzur Hossain, Research Director, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies

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Day 3.3.2: MSMEs, Fintech and COVID-19: Evidence from Bangladesh
Asami Takeda, Project Consultant, ADBI

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Day 3.0.2: Keynote Speaker-Digital Finance, COVID-19, Financial Inclusion and Sustainable Development: Building Better Financial Systems
Douglas Arner, Kerry Holdings Professor in Law at the University of Hong Kong

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