题目：The Rise of E-Wallets and Buy-Now-Pay-Later:Credit Expansion, Payment Competition, and Consumer Behavior
主持人：张 浩 教 授
The past decade has witnessed a phenomenal rise of digital wallets (e-wallets), and the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated their adoption globally. The economic impact of e-wallets is unclear because they provide not only a conduit to external bank accounts but also internal payment options, including the ever-popular Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL). We open the black box of e-wallets by examining transaction-level data matched with merchant and consumer information from a world-leading e-wallet provider in China the userbase of which is representative of the population. We 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 complements credit cards as seen in the behavior of users with both e-wallet credit and bank credit cards. Exploiting a randomized experiment, we 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 usage when incurring interest charges, likely as an attempt to improve their credit score. Our findings reveal that e-wallets go beyond being a sole payment channel to expand FinTech-based credit to underserved consumers. The insights apply to many economies transitioning from cash-heavy into cashless societies where digital payments and FinTech credit see the largest growth and market potential.