Discussion paper

DP17297 Big techs, QR code payments and financial inclusion

Using a unique dataset of around half a million Chinese firms that use a QR code-based mobile payment system, we find that (i) the creation of a digital payment footprint allows firms to access credit provided by the same big tech company; (ii) transaction data generated via QR code generate spillover effects on access to bank credit; and (iii) there are positive effects of access to big tech credit on sales, including during the Covid-19 shock. The findings suggest that access to innovative payment methods helps micro firms build up credit history, and that using big tech credit can ease access to bank credit.


Beck, T, L Gambacorta, Y Huang and Z Li (2022), ‘DP17297 Big techs, QR code payments and financial inclusion‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 17297. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp17297