Paper

Digital Finance & the COVID-19 Crisis

Can digital finance help to overcome the immediate challenges presented by the pandemic?

The COVID-19 coronavirus crisis is putting unprecedented strain on markets, governments, businesses and individuals. The human, economic and financial costs are increasing dramatically, with potentially huge impact on developing countries and emerging market countries in addition to developed countries and regions. Across all of these, the greatest toll is likely to fall on those least able to bear it, with terrible damage to human development across the world.

This paper examines how the digital financial infrastructure that emerged in the wake of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis is being, and can be, leveraged to overcome the immediate challenges presented by the pandemic and manage the impending economic fallout.  This study operates at two levels:

  • At the macro level, it seeks to identify areas of systemic risk and strategies and frameworks to support policy coordination and action.
  • At the micro level it seeks to illustrate how digital finance tools may be able to assist addressing some of the challenges emerging.