Strengthen consumer protection mechanisms, regulate personal information collection and use

Internet finance, which is more convenient and safer (Online China)

  Where to borrow small loans?

Where is the change balance deposited?

The shadow of financial services can be found on almost all apps that people use nowadays.

However, while Internet platforms provide convenient financial services, there are also many problems such as unlicensed operation and information monopoly.

A few days ago, the central bank and other financial management departments jointly interviewed 13 Internet platform companies engaged in financial business, and proposed 7 rectification requirements. While "pouring cold water" on the chaos of the industry, it also pointed out the direction for preventing financial risks and orderly promoting financial innovation. .

The platform is keen on "financial monetization"

  When placing an order for online shopping, the App pops up loan advertisements; when paying for takeaways, the App pops up with installment reminders; when taxis are billed, the App pushes credit notifications... Turn on the phone, e-commerce shopping, video social networking, beauty retouching, travel navigation and many other networks The platforms have built-in financial lending products, and slogans such as "low daily interest rate, fast approval", "borrow money in 1 minute, get account in 3 minutes" and other slogans stimulate the nerves of users everywhere.

  In recent years, Internet platform companies have "cross-boundary" to devote themselves to financial business, using rich online consumption scenarios as the entrance to launch innovative financial services such as third-party mobile payment, online lending, Internet insurance, and Internet wealth management.

Some platforms have cooperated with policy banks and commercial banks to accelerate the flow of funds to small and micro enterprises, effectively making up for shortcomings in the traditional financial sector.

According to agency statistics, in 2019, the scale of China's Internet consumer finance has reached 2.27 trillion yuan; from 2013 to 2019, the growth rate of Internet consumer finance has been above 50%; currently, the overall scale of Internet loans is about 3 trillion to 3 trillion yuan. 4 trillion yuan.

  However, when Internet platforms provide convenient financial services, problems such as "unlicensed driving" and disorderly expansion also arise, which pose risks to the stability of the financial market.

A few days ago, the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and other financial management departments interviewed 13 online platform companies engaged in financial services, and pointed out that online platform companies play an important role in improving the efficiency and inclusiveness of financial services and reducing transaction costs. However, serious violations such as unlicensed or over-licensed financial business, imperfect corporate governance mechanisms, unfair competition, and damage to the legitimate rights and interests of consumers are also common.

Hidden risks in mixed operation

  In an interview with our reporter, Sun Lijian, director of the Financial Research Center of Fudan University, said that Internet platform companies are leading financial innovation with technology and traffic advantages, which has stimulated the vitality of China's digital economy.

However, the problems of mixed operation and information monopoly that some giants have emerged also bring systemic risks to the long-term development of the digital economy.

"Platforms deposit a large amount of funds through online consumer business, and use this to develop consumer finance and enterprise small loan businesses, forming a wealth effect. Platforms often use technology companies as the name to implement financial services and bypass the risk management requirements of financial institutions. It reduces the cost of financial services and in fact evades supervision."

  Taking credit business as an example, most Internet platforms carry out customer credit ratings on their own, which increases financial risks.

The "China Monetary Policy Implementation Report for the Fourth Quarter of 2020" issued by the Central Bank pointed out that during the rapid expansion of consumer loans, some financial institutions ignored consumer financial risks, customer qualifications had declined significantly, and the problems of long collective debt and excessive credit were prominent.

In addition, some platforms use financial gains to "backfeed" their main business losses, concealing the true development capabilities of the main business.

  Liu Yushu, Director of the Macro Research Department of the Chongyang Institute of Finance of Renmin University of China, said in an interview with this reporter that data is the biggest advantage of online financial platforms. Only by breaking the data monopoly can online platforms be prevented from relying on their own data to engage in closed-loop business, so that the central bank can The personal credit business of the platform is subject to comprehensive and timely supervision.

  In addition, the abuse of big data may violate the privacy of financial consumers.

Some Internet platforms excessively collect personal information and transaction data, accurately push financial marketing advertisements, and induce people to consume in debt.

Platform should improve industry self-discipline

  In response to the problems of online platform companies engaged in financial business, the financial regulatory authorities put forward 7 rectification requirements in the joint interview, including insisting that all financial activities be included in financial supervision, returning to the original source of payment, breaking information monopoly, and strengthening financial consumer protection mechanisms, etc. .

  “Systemic risks brought about by the chaos of Internet finance require a systematic regulatory system to respond.” Sun Lijian said, “China’s digital financial services lead the world, and financial regulatory authorities will generally adopt a macro-prudential attitude to encourage Internet platforms to carry out financial innovation. "

  Financial technology is changing with each passing day, and the regulatory model should also keep pace with the times.

Sun Lijian proposed that China should establish a "regulatory sandbox" mechanism as soon as possible to provide Internet platforms with a risk-controllable market space, support them in exploring and practicing financial innovation products, and timely discover and avoid product defects and hidden risks, and reduce business operations. cost.

In this process, the regulatory authority should be able to follow up the data on the platform in a timely manner.

  "In the future, China will take more measures in anti-monopoly on online financial platforms and guide the orderly expansion of capital to guide innovation in financial products and services that directly reach the real economy, and standardize the development of consumer credit." Liu Yushu said that the platform itself will protect the rights and interests of users. , Improving industry self-discipline is the way to long-term development.

  Lin Zihan