Frontiers Market Series:

China’s ‘golden age’ of digital finance


The course takes 3 weeks to complete
The course is self-paced, you will require 4-6 hours per week
The course is delivered online in our digital classroom.  

Start Date: 23rd October 2017

Enrollments Close: 13th October 2017

Course Fee: Free

Brought to you in partnership with Cafi

Course overview

The scale and pace of the economic growth of modern China is unprecedented. So too is the scale and pace of digital financial services in China. In 2000, four large state owned banks dominated the Chinese banking system. They were all heading towards commercialization and listing, and are among world’s largest banks today. These and other Chinese banks were then at the early stages of rolling out card-based retail banking channels. However, within little more than a decade, Findex found that close to 80% of Chinese adults had bank accounts, almost all card linked; and the government estimated that 95% of Chinese countries had a financial access point.

On top of this banking rollout, or more the point, over the top, Chinese internet players Alibaba and Tencent launched internet payment services called Alipay and TencentPay from 2011 onwards. Other digital products in wealth management, credit and insurance have followed. Customized for a smartphone experience, these services have seen rapid adoption such that by 2016, Alipay alone reported over 400 million registered customers, with over 100 million active on a daily basis.

Collectively, the Chinese internet finance providers have seen the largest and fastest scale up of digital financial services ever seen. What has led to such growth and is it sustainable?

Who should attend this course?

The course is for professionals in digital money or digital financial services wanting to develop a fuller understanding of the emerging landscape for digital payments and financial inclusion in China.

The intended audience includes professionals in China who expect to apply the understanding gained through the course directly in their market, as well as those outside of China who want to understand and learn from the chinese model and experience.

The course assumes although it does not require a background knowledge of digital financial services, such as a student would have after completing DFI’s Certificate in Digital Money.

What are the intended outcomes?

On completion of this course, students would be able to answer these questions:

1. Who are the main DFS players in China and what are their business models?
2. What are the distinctive features of the Chinese financial consumer?
3. How have Chinese financial authorities contributed to this development?
4. What is distinctive about China’s digital financial services market?

The course will seek in particular to discover how and why Chinese DFS has developed so fast; and what lessons may be derived from this for other countries.

What you will learn

  • Week 1 - Consumers

    – Course overview – Chinese DFS in Perspective
    – Segmenting the Included and Excluded in China
    – How do Chinese Consumers Pay?
    – Expert Interview: Prof. Li Gan on Financial Inclusion and Economics in China
    – Optional extra video: “The house that Jack built”—the Alibaba and Ant Financial Group
    – Optional extra video: Buying bubble tea in China today

  • Week 2 - DFS Providers

    – The Financial Sector in China and its Evolution
    – National Payment System Architecture in China
    – Who are the innovators and what are their business models?
    – Expert Interview: Prof. Long Chen, CSO of Ant Financial
    – Expert Interview: Ms Ling Tang, Vice General Manager, Strategy Development Department, TenCent

  • Week 3: Regulation & Policy

    – Financial Regulatory Landscape
    – Regulating Fintech in China
    – Policies to Promote Financial Inclusion & cashless society
    – Expert Interview: Dr. Jiao. Former Director-General Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, People’s Bank of China

Your hosts for the course

World-Class Practitioners

Dr. Duoguang BEI
President, Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion

Dr. Bei obtained a PhD of economics at RUC in 1988, following which he worked successively for MOF, CSRC, CICC and JPMORGAN. He was also a visiting scholar, studying at UC Berkeley and Fed of New York. Dr. Bei has produced an abundance of publications, including influential books, such as ‘On Macrofinance’ and ‘An Analysis of the flow of funds in China’, with the achievement of winning the Sun Yefang Prize, a top award for academic results in economics in China. Whilst in the past Dr. Bei has led and completed priority research projects sponsored by State Social Science Foundation, he now focuses on financial inclusion research and public speaking. Dr. Bei is dedicated to the promotion and development of financial inclusion and digital financial inclusion in China.

David Porteous
Chairman, Digital Frontiers Institute

A Senior Fellow at CEME at the Fletcher School. He is founder and CEO of consulting firm BFA which works in inclusive finance in emerging markets. He has held senior positions in banking and development finance sectors. He holds a B.Comm degree from UCT, an M.Phil from Cambridge and a PhD from Yale.

Yan LI
Professor, Business School, Renmin University of China
Director, Center for Microfinance Initiatives & Networks, Renmin University of China

Ms. Li gained a bachelor’s degree from the School of Finance at Renmin University, following which she continued her studies and respectively obtained a masters and doctorate in Economics from the Renmin University of China, with finance as her major. Post graduation, Ms. Li served as a teacher in the School of Finance and School of Business at the Renmin University of China. She is currently a Finance Professor at the University’s School of Business and the Director of its Private Enterprise Governance and Development Center. In addition to work experience as a university teacher, Ms. Li also has experience of living and working in a production team, factory, financial institution and other areas. Ms. Li has published many papers in national core journals and presided over a number of national research projects and key research projects.