A new report jointly produced by the flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) points to the increasingly prominent role that fintech applications are playing in China’s efforts to improve financial inclusion and ensure that the finance sector better services the real economy.
The “China Financial Inclusion Innovation Report (2018)” (中国普惠金融创新报告) produced by the National Institute for Finance and Development (NIFD) in conjunction with the People’s Daily’s National Party Public Information Media Platform and Shenzhen-based lender WeBank was officially unveiled in Beijing on 5 August.
According to the report five state-owned commercial banks, six joint-stock commercial banks, over 1600 rural and county banks and 17 private banks in China had established financial inclusion departments as of the end of last year.
The balance of financial inclusion agricultural loans was 30.95 trillion yuan, while the balance of small and micro-enterprise loans was 30.74 trillion yuan.
Report editor and NIFD vice-chair Zeng Gang (曾刚) said that policy guidance and technological developments had greatly accelerated innovation in China’s financial inclusion sphere over the past several years.
In addition to an increasing diversity of products and services as well as financial institutions, the report also highlighted the rapid development of “digital financial inclusion,” which it said is set to become the mainstream in future.
“Fintech is the key weapon in the realm of financial inclusion,” said Li Yang (李扬), NIFD director and a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to the People’s Daily.
Li pointed in particular to the significance of five key technologies for the finance sector, including big data, artificial intelligence, the internet, distributed computing and security technology.
“When discussing inclusion and innovation, we should integrate these technologies with the concept of inclusion, and walk forward in this direction,” said Li.
According to the People’s Daily the “the use of fintech and the application of the internet, big data and other technologies to financial inclusion operations has already become the trend of development.”