Financial inclusion issues have recently gained considerable attention in the Russian Federation. Legislative amendments have been made in order to createsound environment for elaborating national payment system, provide further accessto financial services, develop financial markets (microfinance, banking, insurance,etc.).
The expansion of digital financial services is one of the most promising ways to increase financial inclusion. The development and expansion of new technologies, especially mobile technologies, that cover and effectively reach all economic levels in society now provide opportunities to both provide greater financial inclusion and expand economic growth of micro and small businesses.
Technical accessibility has led to the rapid expansion of new payment instruments such as e-money and mobile payments. The countries with the most dramatic changes have been those that previously had high levels of financial exclusion and lack of banking and financial institutional infrastructure especially in African and Southeast Asia. Digital financial services have the potential to be used beyond the area of payment transactions and the next step in the digital financial services development is greater interoperability and interconnectivity with financial institutions and enhanced access to credit, savings and other services such as insurance.
Studying and learning from the experiences, especially legislative and regulatory practices in several countries, which have successfully launched new digital financial service approaches, is essential for countries like Russia to explore and provide greater financial inclusion and help to promote more rapid economic growth. These topics will the main focus during the Digital Financial Services: Promoting Financial Inclusion workshop that will take place at the Central Bank of the Russian Federation on 9 October 2014.
The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) successfully hosted the 23rd International Banking Congress, held June 30-July 2 in St. Petersburg, under the theme “New Realities for the Banking Industry.” An active Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) member institution, CBR highlighted among many discussions the issue of shadow banking and the importance of strengthening regulation and supervision along with the role of financial inclusion.
The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) has officially joined the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) as a principal member institution. The addition means the AFI Network is now comprised of 117 members from 94 nations worldwide.
CBR is the AFI Network's second principal member from Russia along with the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. The Russian Microfinance Center (RMC) is an associate member of AFI.
The importance of financial inclusion as a unique driver of economic growth and social development took center stage this week at the Gaidar Forum, Russia's premier annual conference for policymakers, economists and private sector executives, held under the overarching theme "Sustainable Development" on 15-17 January 2014 at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration in Moscow.
The Gaidar Forum was held at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration 15-17 January 2014 in Moscow, Russia. Download Alliance for Financial Inclusion's (AFI) Executive Director Alfred Hannig's talking points from the forum.