Policy & regulatory solutions converge at global FinTech dialogue
Amid a global convergence in policy and regulatory solutions in the financial inclusion and financial technology (FinTech), around 70 senior regulators from developing and developed countries are gathering in Prague for the first-of-its-kind global dialogue on inclusive FinTech.
Co-hosted by the Czech National Bank (CNB) and AFI, regulators are meeting for two days of knowledge sharing and exchange aimed at finding practical solutions that respond to emerging public policy challenges faced by countries at all stages of development.
"The global convergence of issues and solutions under the financial inclusion agenda calls for the cross-pollination of ideas and for structuring mid- to long-term systematic peer engagement on converging topics relevant for both developing and developed countries,” AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig told senior regulators in his opening speech held in the Congress of the Czech National Bank.
The closed-door dialogue is a direct follow-up to demand from AFI members for technical-level engagement with developed country financial regulators to identify convergent topics of mutual interest and determine systematic learning platforms to facilitate ongoing knowledge exchanges on the regulatory implications of technology innovation. It also responds to interest, particularly from financial regulators in Europe, to engage on a global level on issues around inclusive FinTech.
“The objective of financial inclusion is not only to bring the unbanked into the financial system, but at the same time we also need to avoid that banked populations fall out of the system over time”, Dr. Hannig highlighted.
Underscoring the importance of a free flow of knowledge and productive ideas, Dr. Hannig said: “We must double our efforts to ensure that the benefits of an open interconnected world are also understood. Isolationism is not an option for us”.
“Those who chose to hide behind walls and barriers may soon discover that they have been left far behind,” he said.
Olayinka David-West, academic director and professor of information systems at Lagos Business School, touched on similar points when she encouraged participants to make their voices heard as equals in order to understand and learn from others.
“With the pace of technology and they ways it can be applied, there are no leaders and laggards,” she said, while reinforcing how the event will showcase FinTech solutions as a means of helping achieve universal financial inclusion as well as driving and enhancing usage.
Today’s sessions will deep-dive into topics such as the AFI Framework for Inclusive FinTech, as guided by the Sochi Accord, payment innovations and the future of payments, oversight of payment systems and creating an enabling FinTech ecosystem.
Participants will reconvene on Friday to discuss cybersecurity frameworks for resilient financial systems, increasing digitalization and its implications on data protection and privacy, financial capability and wellbeing in the age of FinTech and digital banking innovations.
Representing a cross-section of key stakeholders are speakers from central banks, regulators, private sector firms, global development organizations, research institutions and academia. They will provide in-depth perspectives from across the globe, outlining the experiences from their home countries, including Argentina, Armenia, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Ghana, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Nigeria and Spain.
Among the event’s many outcomes will be the development of key policy takeaways that will form concrete follow-up actions for fostering intellectual partnerships among financial regulators from diverse jurisdictions. These policy lessons will be adopted in the network to advance in-country implementation.
“We are here to learn globally and apply locally,” Dr. Hannig told participants.