Emerging Financial Inclusion Areas
AFI is at the Forefront of Emerging Financial Inclusion Policy
In addition to its established work streams and technical working groups, AFI has initiated work in the following thematic areas:
Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion
Global and national datasets both reveal that despite overall progress towards financial inclusion, a persistent financial inclusion gender gap remains. Following publication of a policy framework for women’s financial inclusion and two country case studies, in April 2016 AFI members adopted the Zero Draft of the AFI Action Plan for Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion and established a high-level committee comprising seven Deputy Governor and Director General level representatives from across the AFI Network to oversee implementation of the Action Plan and ensure sufficient attention to the gender dimension of financial inclusion across all AFI services. The draft action plan will be submitted for endorsement by the full AFI membership at the 2016 AGM.
Green Finance and Financial Inclusion
In 2015, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report “Inquiry Into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System” put the spotlight on the role of financial regulators in contributing to slowing down and mitigating the impacts of climate change. In light of the report, and the desire of members for AFI to initiate peer learning services for green finance, the Network is now exploring the interrelationship between financial inclusion and green finance, and providing support for peer learning on policies and regulations which may advance financial inclusion and green finance in tandem.
Fintech and Regtech
At a faster pace than ever before, technology is shaping the future of financial services, creating new opportunities for reaching previously financially excluded consumers but also new challenges for regulators and policymakers to ensure such technologies are deployed in a way which does not comprise consumer protection or financial stability. Crowdfunding, peer to peer lending, big data and innovative credit scoring models, advances in biometric ID linked to client on-boarding processes, and development of blockchain technology are some of the areas AFI members are now exploring for their potential to advance financial inclusion.
Financial Inclusion of Refugees and Migrants
The recent surge in refugee movements to European countries, as well as between developing countries, has prompted the need to consider how the financial services needs of such communities can be met, particularly in the light of identification challenges, and their need to remit money to and from conflict zones or fragile states. Digital financial services are likely to play an important role in the search for effective solutions. AFI is exploring this area with a view to convening key stakeholders in the search for technological and regulatory solutions, with a dedicated session on the topic to be held at GPF 2016.