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Big cities ahead in digital financial services

First tier cities still take the lead in terms of inclusiveness of digital financial services, while the gap between lower tier cities and first tier cities are shrinking, thanks to the increasing adoption of digital technologies, a latest study says.

Hangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing are the top three cities in terms of  financial inclusiveness index, according to the report jointly released by the Institute of Internet Finance at Peking University, Shanghai Finance Institute and Ant Financial Services Group.

The index is compiled by combining the key factors such as the adoption of Alipay's mobile payment services among consumers, the average lending cost of small business owners and the accessibility and convenience of financial services.

The survey includes 337 cities and 1,754 counties in 31 domestic provinces.

In terms of the adoption of mobile payment services, counties and regions in mid and western region took the lead thanks to the adoption of smartphones in these areas.

“The inclusiveness index of digital financial services provides a new dimension for us to evaluate the financial inclusiveness in China,” said Director of the Institute of Internet Finance at Peking University Huang Yiping.

The gap between the most developed cities and the least developed ones has fallen from 4.9 times in 2011 to 1.5 times in 2015.

“The digital infrastructure has allowed financial services to become available to a vast number of residents in a wider geographical area,” Huang added.


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