FinTech for Financial Inclusion
Enabling FinTech regulation in emerging & developing countries
Financial technology (FinTech) has the potential to benefit underserved individuals and communities through salient features: mobile money and e-wallets, crowdfunding (P2P lending and equity crowdfunding platforms), alternative credit scoring, cross-border remittances, payment technologies using digital KYC process, and Regulatory Technology (RegTech).
"The pressure to grasp the potential of digital innovations is much higher today."
Alfred Hannig, Executive Director, AFI
As a result of the rise in digital innovation, AFI member institutions are dedicated to harness its potential in order to advance financial inclusion — a key commitment under the Maya Declaration. AFI members that are already at the forefront of using FinTech for financial inclusion in their own countries include:
- Bank of Russia
- Bank Negara Malaysia
- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
- Banco Central do Brasil
- Bank of Thailand
- CNBV Mexico
AFI member institutions in Africa and the Pacific Islands are also showing great potential to develop FinTech solutions inspired by mobile money and leapfrogging technologies. To regulate innovative deployments in the market, many AFI member countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and the Philippines are implementing proportionate regulatory approaches and adopting a “test and learn” methodology. Such approaches may be seen as antecedents of the “regulatory sandbox” for FinTech that more than 25 jurisdictions globally have now implemented.
Various FinTech themes that possess untapped potential to advance financial inclusion are being explored across the AFI network including:
- Blockchain technology and its potential application to increase the transparency and efficiency of payments (for example in the context of international remittances) its ability to reinforce the security of transactions and the overall potential to disrupt banking models;
- Adoption of cloud computing technology in the financial sector;
- Big data analytics including potential application for innovative credit scoring;
- Biometric technologies to enhance and increase the efficiency of KYC and client on-boarding processes;
- RegTech to enhance compliance with global standards for financial stability and integrity and domestic supervisory efficiency;
- Proportionate regulatory approaches to FinTech including Sandbox or RegLab approaches.
The combination of the rapid pace of innovation in financial services technology and the commitment to financial inclusion of an unprecedented number of leading policymaking institutions in developing and emerging countries, is a unique opportunity to resolve some of the most intractable challenges for financial inclusion and reach ‘last mile’ consumers with high quality financial services.