Webinar Series



The Rise of E-Wallets and Buy-Now-Pay-Later: Payment Competition, Credit Expansion, and Consumer Behavior

The past decade has witnessed a phenomenal rise of digital wallets, and the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated their adoption globally. Such e-wallets provide not only a conduit to external bank accounts but also internal payment options, including the ever-popular Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL). The authors examine, for the first time, e-wallet transactions matched with merchant and consumer information from a world-leading provider based in China, with around one billion users globally and a business model that other e-wallet providers quickly converge to. The authors document that internal payment options, especially BNPL, dominate both online and on-site transactions. BNPL has greatly expanded credit access at the extensive margin through its adoption in two-sided payment markets. While BNPL crowds out other e-wallet payment options, it expands FinTech credit to underserved consumers. Exploiting a randomized experiment, the authors also find that e-wallet credit through BNPL substantially boosts consumer spending. Nevertheless, users, especially those relying on e-wallets as their sole credit source, carefully moderate borrowing when incurring interest charges. The insights likely prove informative for economies transitioning from cash-heavy to cashless societies where digital payments and FinTech credit see the largest growth and market potential.


Session Chair: Xiaoyan ZHANG
Xinyuan Chair Professor of Finance, Associate Dean, PBC School of Finance, Tsinghua University and Senior Fellow, ABFER

10:00 am
The Rise of E-Wallets and Buy-Now-Pay-Later: Payment Competition, Credit Expansion, and Consumer Behavior

Lin William CONG, Rudd Family Professor of Management and Associate Professor of Finance, Johnson Graduate School of Management, SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University

Wenlong BIAN, Associate Professor of Finance, Sungkyunkwan University, NSD/CCER
Yang JI, Associate Professor, Business School, Sun Yat-Sen University
10:25 am
Deniz AYDIN, Assistant Professor of Finance, Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis
10:50 am
11:10 am

Updated 3 Jan 2024

Session Format

Each session lasts for 1 hour 10 minutes (25 minutes for the author, 25 minutes for the discussant and 20 minutes for participants' Q&A). Sessions will be recorded and posted on ABFER's web, except in cases where speakers or discussants request us not to.


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