Li Lihui: Facing the challenge of the epidemic, using blockchain and other technologies to promote the full implementation of digital finance

Source of this article: "China Finance" magazine , the original title "Accelerate Digital Finance and Inclusive Finance Construction"

Author: Li Lihui, China Internet Association block chain finance working group, former president of Bank of China

The sudden and fierce epidemic of new crown pneumonia has changed the lives of the people and thus the business ecology. One hundred million people are busy on the front line, and most of them "home" at home. Online exchanges are more alternatives to face-to-face exchanges, online purchases are more alternatives to storefront shopping, and group consumption is almost all suspended. There was a large-scale stagnation and large-scale difficulties in the operation of enterprises. Most restaurants and shopping malls once thanked guests behind closed doors, and sporadic online orders would inevitably lead to a situation where they could not make ends meet; even after a considerable period of time after resumption of business, due to insufficient passenger flow, the loss may still further expand. The passenger transport company is even more embarrassing. Most manufacturing companies suspended production during the Spring Festival and postponed the resumption of work after the festival. A considerable number of labor-intensive enterprises will suffer production shortages due to insufficient workers, resulting in a decline in benefits.

In the face of difficulties, it is generally believed that in 2003, 17 years ago, we defeated the SARS epidemic and achieved rapid economic development in the following 10 years. Today, China's economic strength is stronger, and it can not only defeat the new crown pneumonia epidemic, but also restore economic vitality and achieve high-quality economic development as soon as possible. I have confidence in this too. Under the leadership of the Party Central Committee headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, relying on our system advantages, infrastructure advantages, industrial advantages, and labor advantages, China will once again write a new chapter in economic prosperity and social progress.

The financial industry's fight against the epidemic is remarkable

This nationwide epidemic poses a huge challenge and severe test to the financial industry. Facing this unforeseen test, China's financial industry and financial people have actively responded and performed well. To sum up, there are three characteristics.

First, digital finance has accelerated its expansion.

End-to-end services have further replaced outlets, and online payments have further replaced cash. Mobile banking apps of many banks penetrate various types of life scenarios, and provide financial services such as online transfers, credit card repayment, purchase of wealth management, personal foreign exchange settlement and sales, and cross-border remittances; support for water, electricity, gas, etc. in major cities across the country Payment business, social security provident fund inquiry service, etc.

Financial institutions are accelerating the application of digital technologies such as blockchain, big data, and artificial intelligence, and cloud office is rapidly advancing. The credit business's due diligence, review, lending and other links were all or partly moved online, and online approval was achieved through online document circulation and video conference review.

The second is to accelerate the promotion of inclusive finance.

The central bank reduced the benchmark lending rate in a timely manner, and the CBRC adjusted and optimized its credit business supervision policy in response to the epidemic. Commercial banks' credit review of industrial and commercial enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, fully considers the periodic impact caused by the epidemic situation, pays more attention to the basic quality of enterprises, market positioning and development trends, relaxes extensions, reduces interest rates, and supports enterprises to resume work and production.

Financial institutions take the lead in building digital business circles, expanding supply chain finance, and lowering corporate financing thresholds and financing costs. Based on real transactions between companies on the chain, integrate logistics, information flow, and capital flow, pass core enterprise credit to affiliated companies, and provide financing, settlement, cash management, project payment, salary distribution, etc. for upstream and downstream chain companies in the supply chain A "package" of financial services. At the same time, online application, intelligent review, online signing, and automatic verification and payment are realized.

Third, the implementation of "love finance" accelerated.

In order to relieve the worries of medical staff, commercial banks such as Bank of China, insurance companies such as China Life, as well as various financial institutions, medical unions and charitable foundations have jointly launched a special health insurance plan to "guard the angels and fight the epidemic" to fight the epidemic. First-line medical staff and their families, volunteers, soldiers and journalists struggling to provide high-level comprehensive insurance coverage, covering "new crown pneumonia", traffic accidents, violent injuries, occupational diseases and other fields. More than 80 insurance companies have donated various insurance guarantees. Take Ping An as an example. Ping An's various insurance companies provide free insurance protection services for front-line disease control and professional medical staff, volunteers, and journalists participating in the nationwide fight against the epidemic, with a total coverage of more than 13.6 billion yuan.

State-owned banks are in action, joint-stock commercial banks are in action, and the entire financial system is fighting the epidemic. Everbright Bank and other banks and insurance companies 'APPs have launched a dedicated service area to fight the epidemic, covering expert doctors' 24-hour online free consultation, real-time assistance platform for new crown pneumonia, inquiries for confirmed patients, donation channels for love, epidemic prevention and control platforms, and consumer rights complaints And other integrated functions.

Facing long-term impacts and long-term challenges

At present, the concentrated outbreak of the epidemic seems to have been effectively controlled, but the mechanism of infection of the new coronavirus has not been fully investigated. Effective treatment drugs are still in clinical trials. Preventive vaccines are still being developed, and the number of cases has not yet reached a clear turning point. Therefore, it will take some time for people to return to normal life, and it will take a certain period for enterprises to resume work and resume production, and the normal operation of the industrial chain and supply chain. Although it is a foregone conclusion for us to win this tough battle, for the Chinese financial industry, I think we should pay special attention to the long-term impact and challenges brought by this epidemic. From the perspective of health, we should recognize the characteristics of new severe infectious diseases revealed by the fresh coronary pneumonia epidemic; from the perspective of economics and finance, we should recognize the new stage characteristics of China's economic development.

First, the new coronavirus is more infectious, and the population structure of high density and high mobility is more vulnerable to the impact of severe infectious diseases. Asymptomatic infection, indirect infection, and light contact infection of the new coronavirus have been confirmed. Compared with 2003, China has a higher degree of urbanization, a higher concentration and density of population, and more frequent and dense population movements. Once a malignant infectious disease occurs, it can quickly cause a large-scale severe infection, which will bring a huge negative impact on the national economy and social life. Moreover, even after this epidemic, similar risks may still occur at any time. This raises new issues for the professional competence and social responsibility of the financial industry, and we need to continue to give qualified answers.

Second, the service industry has become the main body of China's economy, and the economic structure based on the service industry is more vulnerable to the impact of infectious diseases. In 2019, China's tertiary industry accounts for 54% of GDP, and its contribution to GDP is close to 60%. The service industry has become the main pillar and growth momentum of the economy. In the service industry, transportation, warehousing, wholesale and retail, accommodation, catering, and entertainment industries account for 36% of GDP. These industries mainly provide offline and experiential services and are more susceptible to the direct impact of severe infectious diseases.

Third, private enterprises have become the main body of our economy. Private enterprises have provided more than 50% of taxes, created more than 60% of GDP, completed more than 70% of invention patents, and provided more than 80% of jobs. , Accounting for more than 90% of the total number of enterprises, and accommodate more than 90% of new employment. However, according to different statistical calibers, the financial resources occupied by private enterprises account for only 25% -33%, which is far lower than their economic contribution. Private enterprises, mainly small and micro enterprises, are more vulnerable to economic and social fluctuations. Most of them are weak, cash flow shortage, more than 3 months of shutdowns and production, will cause a large number of small and micro enterprises financial deterioration. During this epidemic, some small and micro enterprises were temporarily rescued due to national policy guidance and targeted support from financial institutions. However, the problem of imbalance in the allocation of financial resources in China has not been resolved. For this reason, the social responsibility of China's financial industry should not be limited to digital finance, inclusive finance, and "love finance" during the epidemic, but should be based on reality, with a long-term perspective and overall planning.

Promote the comprehensive landing of digital finance

This epidemic is a comprehensive test of financial institutions and a comprehensive test of digital financial services. Those with strong digitization ability, the natural anti-epidemic action is fast, the coverage is large, and the effect is obvious. This time, Daxing's advantages were fully demonstrated. But at the same time, various financial institutions with strong digital capabilities have emerged, such as Ping An Group and even a small WeChat bank, which have demonstrated strong and accurate financial technology support and service capabilities. I think this outbreak reminds us that there is an urgent need to accelerate progress in the following two aspects.

The first is to speed up technological innovation and promote the full implementation of digital finance.

Financial institutions should raise FinTech to a more important position. Apply digital technologies such as blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing to create an end-to-end, point-to-point three-dimensional interactive financial service system, and create a financial management operation model that spans the space with cloud office and cloud supervision. Financial supervision departments must actively control the potential financial risks caused by technological innovation and business innovation, and also consciously avoid the regulatory vacuum that may result from backward regulatory technology and a lagging regulatory system.

The second is to accelerate institutional innovation and promote the comprehensive implementation of inclusive finance.

The application of big data and blockchain technology can build a digital trust mechanism and create a technology platform for inclusive finance. At the same time, we must step up efforts to resolve the issue of credit mechanisms and long-term institutional issues. The support of small and micro enterprises' policies has immediate effects, and institutional innovation should be based on improving the mechanism and achieving long-term results, and fundamentally solve the problem of imbalanced allocation of financial resources. Financing costs and risk costs are the core costs of commercial banks' credit business. As market financing costs have decreased, it is possible for commercial banks to further reduce credit prices to small and micro enterprises. The central bank's monetary policy must not only achieve the effect of controlling the total supply of money and the adjustment of market liquidity, but also the function of reducing the overall financing cost of the financial market. Over the years, monetary policy has achieved remarkable results in regulating liquidity. In a certain period of time, it is hoped that the central bank will leave more room for commercial banks in controlling market financing costs. In terms of risk cost management, a market-based pricing mechanism should be adhered to. Financial regulators can control the average interest margin of commercial banks' loans to small and micro enterprises, and should not limit the maximum interest rate. If credit pricing cannot cover financing costs and risk costs, it will be difficult to sustain development. It is also necessary for the fiscal and taxation system to grant tax deductions and exemptions to the financing business of small and micro enterprises of financial institutions, and to support financial institutions to provide comprehensive financial services for small and micro enterprises.

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