CCAF, World Bank and World Economic Forum call on industry to take part in COVID-19 fintech study

CCAF, World Bank and World Economic Forum launch Global COVID-19 FinTech Market Rapid Assessment Survey, supported by FinTech Futures

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, has partnered with the World Bank Group and the World Economic Forum to launch a Global COVID-19 FinTech Market Rapid Assessment Survey, with media support from FinTech Futures.

The empirical data collected will be used to understand COVID-19’s impact on the fintech markets, how the global fintech industry has responded and some of the immediate regulatory and policy implications.

The aim of this online survey is to rapidly assess the performance of the global fintech market and ascertain what kind of regulatory and policy responses might be most appropriate across different fintech market segments and geographical markets. The survey is directed at firms in fintech and digital financial services (DFS) markets and will run through to 30 July.

Working with more than 150 global fintech associations and ecosystem partners, the rapid assessment survey aims to reach 15,000+ fintech firms in over 190 jurisdictions. For the purpose of this study, fintech is defined broadly, encompassing advances in technology and changes in business models that have the potential to transform the provision of financial services through the development of innovative instruments, channels and systems. The joint rapid assessment survey targets 11 key fintech industry verticals including digital lending, digital capital raising, digital payments, digital savings, insurtech, wealthtech, digital custody, cryptoasset and consensus services, digital banks and market provisioning, across over 100 sub-verticals. Based on the findings, the CCAF, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum will jointly publish the Global COVID-19 FinTech Market Rapid Assessment Report within Q3 this year, with media support from FinTech Futures.

Through this comprehensive survey, the CCAF, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum wish to collect globally comparable empirical data to inform evidence-based regulation, policy and business decision-making in a timely fashion. In turn, fintech industries and DFS providers can better position themselves not only to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, but also to identify opportunities to scale and expand, as the digitalisation of financial services is likely to become increasingly more important in a post-COVID world.

This rapid assessment survey consists of 15 questions and should take no more than 30 mins to complete. The survey seeks to capture, analyse and understand:

  • Changes in fintech market performance – How COVID-19 has impacted market performance of fintech firms in areas such as transaction volumes, customer acquisition rates, loan default rates, premium lapses and the participation of retail and institutional investors in the provision of funding across various verticals.
  • Specific COVID-19 responses by fintech firms – How fintech firms have adapted or plan to adapt their product and services in response to COVID-19, e.g. the launch of new products and services, payment holidays, inclusion of pandemic risk cover, a pivot to facilitating COVID-19 related fundraising activities, reducing or waiving of fees.
  • Regulatory support or policy assistance – Assistance or support fintechs have received or will require from governments and regulators. This might include changes to or fast tracking of regulations, the provision of interim permissions, fiscal subsidies and tax reliefs, as well as opportunities to participate in government-run SME emergency loan, employee job retention or cash disbursement schemes as service providers.
  • Operational challenges – How COVID-19 has impacted the daily operations of fintechs, including challenges related to client onboarding, human resources, cyber security, fundraising and access to platform-held or third-party data.

All survey data collected will be anonymised and aggregated (e.g. by vertical and country) before analysis and presentation. The resultant report will be publicly disseminated through a series of high-profile media events and webinars to share the actionable insights and engage with key stakeholder groups regionally and globally to create greater impact.

“Global challenges require global solutions, this survey is a collective effort to bring the global fintech ecosystem together to share their insights, express their views and voice their concerns in light of COVID-19,” comments Bryan Zhang, the executive director of the CCAF. “In turn, the rapid assessment survey findings will inform market participants, regulators and policymakers to take swift, appropriate and evidence-based actions.”

“By participating in the survey, firms will help shed light on the global fintech industry to understand emergent market trends, crystallise COVID-19 related challenges and opportunities, as well as fathoming how an increasingly digitalised financial services sector can play a pivotal role in driving economy recovery and growth,” says Matthew Blake, head of financial and monetary system initiatives and member of the executive committee at the World Economic Forum.

“Fintech and digital financial services play a vital role in extending the reach of, and widening the access to, financial services – especially for millions of underbanked or unbanked people,” explains Ana Fiorella Carvajal, lead financial sector expert, World Bank Group. “There is an urgent need to undertake this rapid assessment study to see how public and private sectors can work together to ensure the continued delivery of digital financial services to some of the poorest and most vulnerable population in the world.”

Click here or on the image below to take the Global Covid-19 FinTech Market Rapid Assessment Survey

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