Based on a dataset of around half a million Chinese firm, we find that: (i) the creation of a digital payment footprint allows firms to access credit provided by the same big tech
company, Ant Financial; (ii) transaction data generated via QR codes generate spillover effects on access to bank credit; and (iii) there are positive effects of access to big tech credit on sales, including during the Covid-19 shock. Gaining access to a more
efficient payment technology thus allows these traders to signal credit worthiness and ultimately gain access to credit. Which also implies that the focus that we typically have in the financial inclusion literature on different financial services (payment,
savings, credit, insurance) might not be always relevant, as they might actually hang together; in this case, payment and credit services from the same company – in other cases (as in my Kenya-focused
paper on mobile money) from different providers.