Mobile Payment Use and Crime Reduction

48 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2023

See all articles by Hongze Jiang

Hongze Jiang

Anhui University - School of Economics

Pinghan Liang

Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) - School of Government

Leng Ling

Georiga College & State University

Date Written: June 13, 2023

Abstract

This study investigates the influence of mobile payment application use on crime rates. Using a unique database of verdicts from criminal courts in China and an index measuring the extent of mobile payment usage, we find that a one standard deviation increase in mobile payment adoption and usage leads to an 11% decrease in the theft rate. Furthermore, the effect of widespread mobile payment adoption on theft rates is more pronounced in areas characterized by a higher prevalence of cash transactions. These findings suggest that the decrease in cash circulation in society due to mobile payment use can reduce incentives for theft. However, we do not find evidence linking mobile payment usage to other types of criminal activity, including robbery, arson, brawling, homicide, and serious injury by vehicle.

Keywords: Digital finance, FinTech, Mobile payment, Crime

JEL Classification: G23, K42, P37

Suggested Citation

Jiang, Hongze and Liang, Pinghan and Ling, Leng, Mobile Payment Use and Crime Reduction (June 13, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4477786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4477786

Hongze Jiang

Anhui University - School of Economics

Pinghan Liang

Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) - School of Government ( email )

China

Leng Ling (Contact Author)

Georiga College & State University ( email )

Milledgeville, GA 31061-0490
United States

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