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Accelerating Trade Digitalization to Support MSME Financing

For many micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), access to financing can mean the difference between prosperity and bankruptcy. "Accelerating Trade Digitalization to Support MSME Financing" seeks to identify some of the challenges that MSMEs face in acquiring financing and explores the potential of digital technologies to address these challenges.

The publication begins by examining some of the main challenges related to MSME financing and looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in this area. It next examines key digital technologies and their potential benefit for MSME financing and presents case studies of companies using these technologies, the challenges they face, and recommendations for overcoming these challenges.

The technologies include cloud computing, optical character recognition, the Internet of Things, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, distributed ledger technology and application programming interfaces.

While the potential of digital technologies to facilitate MSME financing is significant, the publication shows that coordinated action is needed on a variety of issues ranging from standards to how to leverage data, digital identity, regulation and how to close the digital divide. Policy-makers, technology experts, practitioners, bankers and all other stakeholders must work together to devise, agree on and execute a roadmap that will catalyse action.

Co-published with Trade Finance Global in 2021.

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