SMEs play a vital role in the Asian economy and comprise about 70% of the workforce and GDP in the region. To enhance productivity and ensure sustainable growth in Asia, it is vital to provide smooth financing to SMEs. Traditionally, commercial banks in Asia have regarded loans to SMEs as too risky relative to high transaction costs. However, new technologies including distributed ledger technology, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence are becoming a means of offering faster and more convenient and cost-effective financial services. The digital innovation could help SMEs to have easy access to finance in various routes.
This book identifies and develops ideas on how to utilize new technologies to promote SME finance. It could encourage financial institutions and investors to develop new credit risk analysis tools, increase credit supply, and encourage sustainable growth for SME sectors. In addition, the book explores the ways policy makers and market participants could maximize the benefits while mitigating potential risks arising from the new digital era. The messages are important for the public and private sectors in Asia.