Graphic as seen on the front cover of the Global FinTech Dialogue Report

Inaugural global FinTech dialogue report is out

AFI’s report on the Global FinTech Dialogue was launched following the inaugural gathering of financial regulators from developed and developing countries in September 2019 in Prague.

The so-called Prague Global Dialogue, co-hosted by the Czech National Bank (CNB) and AFI, enabled a truly global conversation on regulatory approaches to financial technology (FinTech), demonstrating the need for continued knowledge exchange between developed and developing economies.

“Financial inclusion covers a larger agenda, crucial for advanced economies,” CNB Board Member Oldřich Dědek told participants during his closing remarks.

Underscoring the importance of the event, Dědek told participants that developed countries in Europe tended to focus on regional initiatives, making such forums vital to understanding the global experience and sharing lessons from which others could benefit.

“The advantage of developing countries is that while catching up, they can leapfrog the current business models or technologies that are slowly becoming obsolete and thus reach the cutting edge earlier than us,” Dědek added.

More than 60 high-level participants attended the event, including representatives of 10 AFI member institutions from four regional initiatives.

From developed market economies came regulators from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the European Central Bank. Other non-members included representatives from the European Banking Federation, World Economic Forum, GIZ, CGAP and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology.

“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.

Among the convergent topics highlighted was cyberthreats with joint learning programs or case studies proposed on cyber-resilience strategies, coordinated approaches to threats and security management, as well as awareness and education.

With the need to strengthen digital financial literacy at the heart of the regulatory agenda, the AFI network also suggested conducting workshops on the topic to gather experiences from both developing and developed market economies. Such efforts would be bolstered by case studies on digital financial education initiatives from both AFI member institutions and non-AFI members.

Members and participants agreed to take the dialogue forward towards more substantial engagements, with key objectives to include two equally important aspects. First, to increase global interconnectedness of technology and financial systems to entail a well-coordinated global approach to regulatory interventions. Second, to identify issues of global convergence and work towards solutions in a collaborative way.

The two days of sessions were guided by AFI’s Sochi Accord, which encourages peer learning and progress on FinTech for financial inclusion, including by using transformative solutions to accelerate the access and use of financial services.

Among the key outcomes was the understanding that greater collaboration is needed to identify global challenges and solutions. In support of this is the acknowledgment that increased cross-border interconnectivity of technology and financial systems entails a well-coordinated global approach to regulatory interventions.

The event is widely expected to mark the first in a series of annual gatherings that highlight shared themes faced across developed and developing market economy lines.

The Global FinTech Dialogue and its accompanying report was partly funded with UK aid from the UK government and supported by other AFI funding partners.

Download this dialogue paper or read in full-screen to learn more.