To say 2020 has been a challenging year is a massive understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly undermined development gains from recent decades and slowed growth in many Asian economies.
Yet, every crisis presents opportunities. One is the rapid advance in digital technology, which offers a way to recoup some of these gains and spur a strong economic revival once the pandemic has passed.
As we all know, the pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technology. Many of us have become adept at online video conferencing and other digital tools while working from home.
Pervasive restrictions on mobility and lockdowns have driven companies to shift their businesses and services online.
The use of digital technology and e-commerce has become the business norm.
Digital payment platforms have eased a transition from offline to online transactions—and their use has skyrocketed in many parts of the region. In the Philippines, for example, the leading mobile wallet company GCash saw a 700% year-to-year increase in transaction volume in June alone, and doubled its registered users in the first half of 2020.
Asia accounted for just under half of that, while the United States generated 22%, and the Euro area 11%. The use of digital financial services also increased consistently, with the rise in the use of digital platforms.
If promoted wisely, fintech solutions can help secure a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the pandemic….