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Leading FinTech Research and Education in Asia

Reg/Tech Lab

A global research & educational lab focusing on Finance, Innovation, Regulation, Sustainability and Technology.  

MSME Access to Finance:

The Role of Digital Payments

As micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME)s continue to strengthen economic growth across the Asia Pacific, digitalisation’s impact can not only encourage stronger financial accessibility for vulnerable ventures but also demonstrate technology’s potential toward digital economies.

Digital payment enhancement remains one of the top priorities for government-led measures to support financial inclusion. These initiatives can come from CBDCs and its opportunity to improve MSMEs’ capabilities, especially for women-led groups to harness better digital operability and benefit in a level playing field.

MSMEs are crucial for both the unbanked and underserved globally, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. MSME Access to Finance: The Role of Digital Payments examines the opportunities in digital payments and the challenges in theories of regulations which may have effects on such enterprises’ financial service assistance for these communities.

This report is commissioned by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), prepared by Douglas Arner, Sijuade Animashaun, Kuzi Charamba and Yixiao Cai.

UNESCAP, MSME Financing Series | 1 June 2022 

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Prof. Douglas W. Arner

University of Hong Kong

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Sijuade Animashaun

University of Hong Kong

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Kuzi Charamba

University of Hong Kong

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Yixiao Cai

University of Muenster; Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

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The BigFintechs and Sustainability Papers

The rapid rise of global digital finance players (BigFintechs) in which technology has come to play a key role in driving an upsurge in growth, scale and diversification into financial services has taken many by surprise. From China’s Ant Group to India’s Paytm, Amazon, Facebook and Google in the US, Mercado Libre in Latin America, ride-hailing services in Southeast Asia, mobile money in Africa and many more, BigFintechs’ dominance and impacts on sustainable development are increasingly felt, both at home and internationally, and have only accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regulatory Ramblings Podcast

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Regulatory Ramblings is a podcast hosted by the HKU-Standard Chartered FinTech Academy and the HKU-edX Professional Certificate in FinTech - focussing on the nexus all things financial, technological, legal and regulatory: featuring interviews with those in-the-know, both locally and regionally.

Governance and Data Fragmentation Paper

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The historical paradigm of data globalization is fragmenting. Fragmentation of transnational data flows and related governance frameworks is emerging globally as the result of evolving differences between major economies, heightened by technological and geopolitical competition and conflicts. The irreconcilable positions of the three major economies and standard-setting jurisdictions – the United States, the European Union, and the People’s Republic of China – are breaking down the global data economy and threaten to fracture its core infrastructure, the Internet.

Looking Back, Looking Forward (LBLF) Series

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LBLF provides a concise and analytical discussion of issues relating to the intersection of finance, technology, regulation, globalization and sustainable development. Topics include digitisation and datafication of finance, major trends and themes in global finance and its regulation, and the role of finance in sustainable development.

LITE Lab@HKU

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Law, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Lab at the University of Hong Kong's Faculty of Law (LITE Lab@HKU) is an interdisciplinary and experiential programme that seeks to foster experiential learning and impactful applied research in emerging law of technology initiatives and innovative technology of law initiatives through lawtech and regtech projects bridging students and not-for-profit organisations for access to justice as well as with legal departments, startups and law firms.

SuperCharger Ventures

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SuperCharger Ventures is the leading EdTech accelerator dedicated to both early-stage and growth-stage startup companies to fuel their global expansion. Its a 12-week programme focuses on acquiring growth capital for expansion, scaling business development and growing EdTech. To date, SuperCharger has accelerated 55 companies, helping them raise over $500m and executing 400+ commercial deals.