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Special Issue on “FinTech: Digital Revolution and Innovation in Finance Sector”

In recent decades, a comprehensive digital ecology has been forming in the financial sector due to the rapid growth of information technologies. The internal layer of the ecology consists of crucial business data, such as transaction data in banking or insurance, trading data in various markets (stocks, bonds, futures, etc.), business data in financial institutions, etc. The second involves formal information distributions, such as company announcements and reports, government policies and regulations, etc. The outermost layer consists of exchanging and sharing opinions, such as reviews and comments from newspapers and research reports, as well as opinions and comments from online forums and social communities. These ecological levels are interdependent and influence one another. The ecosystem is maturing as a result of emerging technologies, such as AI, Big Data, Blockchain, and Cloud Computing, and FinTech is rising to the occasion, which accelerates the digital revolution and innovation in the finance sector. These revolutions and innovations driven by technology could be disruptive for financial applications, financial instruments, and even for finance theory.

FinTech appears to be expanding into a variety of financial fields, including, but not limited to, transactions, payments, credit evaluation, risk identification, anti-fraud, lending, and investment. For instance, mobile payment and face-scanning payment are gaining popularity; intelligent and dynamic models are being developed to identify risks and achieve early warning; and robo-advisors are being implemented to assist users in making more informed financial decisions and constructing better investments.

Additionally, FinTech practises promote the development of new financial instruments. For example, supply chain finance is developed to help reduce financing costs for SMEs, and many other new instruments are provided to improve financial inclusion; explorations have been made in Fintech to promote green finance, including recognising low-carbon assets, collecting ESG-relevant data from multiple sources, and providing green investment and financing products; InsurTech and RegTech are also emerging, where innovative insurance and regulatory products are being developed.

Simultaneously, the growth of digital ecology and FinTech drives the innovation of finance theory, including asset pricing and financial risk. Deep learning and other cutting-edge technologies are crucial for extracting pricing information and risk factors from multi-source and heterogeneous data in the financial ecosystem and beyond.

The development of new financial entities and the incorporation of digital technology into existing commercial entities continue. Despite the fact that researchers from industry and academia have provided some in-depth insights and understandings of FinTech and its effects on the finance sector, there is a significant need for additional research to utilise digital solutions to reshape and improve the financial industry and to investigate both theoretical and practical innovations.

This special issue calls for papers broadly related to FinTech with particular emphasis on the digital revolution and innovation in finance sector. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • New finance productions and new finance business models
  • Fraud detection based on big financial data analytics
  • High-frequency trading driven by big data
  • Anti-money laundering via information technology
  • Smart trading strategies such as artificial intelligence-driven trading practices
  • Financial risk analytics via advanced technologies
  • Natural language based financial forecasting, e.g., market sentiment views, public mood-driven asset allocation, sentiment-aware volatility forecasting, technical analysis and sentiment embedding for market trend prediction
  • Innovation in asset pricing
  • Technology driven market efficiency
  • ESG and green finance 
  • Financial inclusion
  • Supply chain finance
  • Digital currency and cryptocurrency
  • Defi—Decentralized Finance
  • Blockchain, distributed ledger technologies, and smart contracts
  • InsurTech—Innovative insurance models and products
  • Regtech—New regulatory challenges with FinTech and governance of big data finance
  • Alternative Data in Finance Sector
  • Novel theories over finance in digital economy

Manuscript Submission: August 31,2023
Notification of Review: October 31, 2023
Revised Manuscript Due: November 30, 2023
Notification of Acceptance: December 31, 2023
Publication Date (tentative): Jan-Mar, 2024

Guest Editors
Yunchuan Sun, International Institute of Big Data in Finance, Beijing Normal University, China, 

Yufeng Shi, Institute for Financial Studies, Shandong University, China,  

Yu Bai, Department of Computer Science, California State University, Fullerton, USA, 

Ning Wang, Mathematical and Computational Finance Group, Oxford University, UK,

Matej Marinč, School of Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia,

Yunchuan Sun is currently a professor and the director of the International Institute of Big Data in Finance in Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. He is IEEE senior member,CCF (China Computer Federation) member, member of the big data committee of CCF,  and an associate editor of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing since 2012. He has served as the vice chair and secretary of the IEEE Communications Society Technical Subcommittee for the Internet of Things, Active Chair of Emergent Technologies Technical Committee (ETTC) Task Force on Smart World at IEEE Computational Intelligent Society. He is also the referee of the International Journal of Electronic Commerce. He received his PhD degree from the Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing China in 2009. His research interests include FinTech, Digital Economy, Internet of Things, event-linked networks, knowledge engineering, and information security. He has published more than 80 papers at international conferences and in journals. As one of the founders and program co-chairs, he has successfully organized the international IIKI series events: IIKI2012 -- IIKI2019. He has also organized more than 20 special issues on relevant topics in several international journals. He is involved in several research projects, including NSFC 973 and 863 and Program of China projects.

Yufeng Shi is a Professor of the School of Mathematics and Institute for Financial Studies at Shandong University. He is a deputy Dean of Institute for Financial Studies and the director of the Institute of Risk Management and Quantitative Investment. He was a Distinguished Professor of Shandong University of Finance and Economics and the Dean of the School of Statistics at Shandong University of Finance and Economics. He is the first visiting professor at Kashgar University, a member of Shandong Provincial Statistical Experts Advisory Committee, the first president of Shandong Big Data Research Association, the vice president of Shandong Provincial Statistical Association, the executive director of China Statistics Association, and the executive director of China Business Statistics Association. In 1998, he graduated from Shandong University with a major in applied mathematics and obtained Ph.D. He has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Financial Mathematics Laboratory at Maine University in France, Liverpool University and Loughborough University in the UK. His research interests include probability and statistics, stochastic analysis, stochastic control, financial mathematics, risk management, quantitative investment, big data analysis, artificial intelligence, and financial technology, digital economy.

Yu Bai is an Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the California State University, Fullerton. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Central Florida. Prior his academic career, he had been at Siemens Energy Inc., working on data analysis. His research interests include machine learning, social media analysis, big data analysis,  natural language processing, and high performance computing, on which he has published over 30 articles including IEEE/ACM transaction and well-known conferences. He is a member of IEEE and has served on various IEEE conference program committees, including FPT, BIGDATA, IPCCC, ISVLSI, IIKI, ICCC, ICICM, and IThings. His research has been funded by Department of Defense (DoD) and National Science Foundation (NSF).

Ning Wang works as Data Scientist and Senior Research Fellow at the Mathematical and Computational Finance Group, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford. He also works as Research Fellow at the St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford. Prior to Oxford, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. His research is motivated by a strong desire to analyse a wide range of social and economic issues using data science methods. His research interest lies in the broad areas of fintech including artificial intelligence, blockchain, behavioral finance, and social networks. More specially he is interested in machine/deep learning in finance, social media and mobile trading platform, online sentiment analysis and financial market, trading behaviors and performance evaluation. He has published more than 20 papers in internationally recognized academic journals and conferences, including Finance research letters, PloS one, Data Science, Entropy, Social networks, ACM transactions and well-known conferences. He is a guest editor of the international publications including Internet Policy, and co-chair of several international conferences including Intelligent Systems, ICWSM, CPSCom, PhoneCom, CIT, MUM, etc. He is also a reviewer for several journals including Nature, Finance research letters, IEEE/ACM transactions, etc.

Matej Marinč is a professor at the School of Economics and Business at the University of Ljubljana. His main area of research is financial intermediation. His articles have been published in several international journals, including Journal of Financial Stability, Economics Letters, European Journal of Law and Economics, Finance Research Letters, International Review of Financial Analysis, Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions & Money, Risk Management, and Industrial and Corporate Change, and in books (e.g., The Economics of Bank Bankruptcy, Springer). His work has been presented at many international conferences. He also serves as an associate editor of Electronic Commerce Research and as a reviewer for several international journals.