Establishing current knowledge on trade in fintech and fintech-enabled services

This pillar of research is led by Thonkom Arun and supported by Sachin Chaturvedi, Sheri Markose, Victor Murinde, Reji Joseph, and Philip Kostov.

We need to establish the current evidence on barriers to and enablers of trade-in FinTech and FinTech – enabled services. There are several important active research themes that are pertinent to the subject, but they have not to date been synthesised with a focus on fintech trade. A rich seam of scholarship (e.g., Claessens and Glaessner 1998; Hoekman 2006) has identified the potential for liberalisation and internationalisation of trade in services, including financial services, and the opportunity it presents for welfare gains. The issue of standardisation and harmonisation has been identified as important for the evolution of FinTech, both from a technical perspective (e.g. Dapp 2015) and a regulatory perspective (e.g. Arner, Barberis, and Buckey 2017). Data issues that are important parts of FinTech in general (see Ancri 2016) take on additional significance when FinTech services are being traded between nations.

Establishing current knowledge

We will conduct a systematic and comprehensive review of the scholarly and policy/practice literature in order to establish the current evidence on barriers to and enablers of trade in FinTech and FinTech- enabled services. Our knowledge search will take in both scholarly literature and ‘grey’ policy and practice literature.

As with other areas of scholarship, the reproducibility of literature reviewing has been acknowledged as increasingly important in recent years. Consequently, this review will follow a “systematic, transparent, and reproducible process for identifying academic literature” (Fisch and Block 2018, 103), designed to facilitate reproducibility. Features that support reproducibility of literature reviews also support potential future updates, sometimes termed ‘cumulative literature reviews’ (Vaganay 2018). Key features of the approach will include transparency of process and explicitly detailed procedures (Thompson et al. 2008) including specified (and shared) database search terms (Koffel and Rethlefsen 2016; Maggio, Tannery, and Kanter 2011); and clear screening (inclusion / exclusion) criteria.

Our scholarly literature search will use multiple relevant databases that support structured searches, due to different coverage. Search terms will be designed and documented to ensure appropriate coverage of the relevant literature, aiming for around 500-1000 search results and around 150-400 papers after screening. Screening criteria will be explicitly established to reduce reviewer bias. A selection of the literature will be dual-coded by different members of the research team to ensure consistency. Our review of grey literature will make use of mainstream search engines to identify relevant works. We will also make a call for submissions, drawing upon our existing networks to seek papers and publications that might be relevant.