Digital Financial Services and the Pandemic: Opportunities and Risks for Emerging and Developing Economies

Resource published July 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing have put a spotlight on digital financial services.

Digital financial services allow for social distancing; they allow governments to disburse funds to those in need quickly and effectively; and allow many households and firms to rapidly access online payments and financing. However, risks to stability and integrity, always present, may worsen if the use of digital financial services is scaled up quickly in times of crisis without appropriate regulations and safeguards. At the same time, efforts to ramp up the use of digital financial services should avoid increasing existing divides across users.