The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Fintech Adoption

36 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2020 Last revised: 11 May 2020

See all articles by Jonathan Fu

Jonathan Fu

Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth; University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance

Mrinal Mishra

Swiss Finance Institute; University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance

Date Written: April 22, 2020

Abstract

We draw on mobile application data from 74 countries to document the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adoption of digital finance and fintech. We estimate that the spread of COVID-19 and related government lockdowns have led to between a 24 and 32 percent increase in the relative rate of daily downloads of finance mobile applications in the sample countries. In absolute terms, this equates to an average daily increase of roughly 5.2 to 6.3 million application downloads and an aggregate increase of about 316 million app downloads since the pandemic’s outbreak to the present, taking into account prior trends. Most regions across the world exhibit notable increases in absolute, relative, and per capita terms. Preliminary analysis of country-level characteristics suggest that market size and demographics, rather than level of economic development and ex-ante adoption rates, drive differential trends.

Keywords: digital finance, fintech, financial inclusion, technological adoption, COVID-19, cross-country

JEL Classification: G23, G20, 033

Suggested Citation

Fu, Jonathan and Mishra, Mrinal, The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Fintech Adoption (April 22, 2020). Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper No. 20-38. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3588453

Jonathan Fu (Contact Author)

Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth; University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance ( email )

Plattenstrasse 32
Zürich, CH-8032
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.bf.uzh.ch/de/persons/fu-jonathan

Mrinal Mishra

Swiss Finance Institute ( email )

c/o University of Geneva
40, Bd du Pont-d'Arve
CH-1211 Geneva 4
Switzerland

University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance ( email )

Schönberggasse 1
Zürich, 8001
Switzerland

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