Embedding Digital Finance in e-Commerce Platforms During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Early assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on e-commerce and the provision of digital financial services for MSMEs and low-income consumers

This study provides an early assessment of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on e-commerce platforms and digital financial services, identifying the opportunities, good practices, and key challenges that have emerged in different regions. The focus of the study is to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on the use of e-commerce platforms across different regions and the role that digital financial services have played in the process. The emphasis is on digital and financial inclusion of consumers and small businesses and their impact on job creation and economic growth.

It analyzes the following questions: 

  • Did e-commerce platforms function efficiently and increase sales during the crisis?
  • Have underserved segments, such as small businesses and low-income households, increased participation rates in e-commerce platforms as a response to the crisis?
  • Have e-commerce platforms accelerated the adoption of digital financial services, especially digital credit and digital payments?
  • What are the main demand-side, supply-side, and regulatory challenges affecting the growth of e-commerce platforms and participation by disadvantaged segments?

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