28 September 2018

Action plans to spearhead FinTech for Financial Inclusion developed as part of Peer Advisory Service program

Hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), the Peer Advisory Service program on FinTech for Financial Inclusion concluded today, following the ASEAN e-Financial Inclusion Forum held earlier this week.  

AFI Deputy Executive Director, Norbert Mumba expressed during his closing remarks that “innovative regulation is a challenging exercise, taking into the account of risks involved especially with consumer protection.” The Peer Advisory Service empowered AFI members to create action plans for developing innovative regulations that support FinTechs committed to financial inclusion in their own jurisdictions — supported by AFI.

26 participants that were invited from 14 selected AFI member institutions attended the program. BNM has been a key collaborator for up to six AFI Capacity Building events every year and this is BNM’s first time co-hosting a Peer Advisory Service program for AFI members. The Peer Advisory Service is a special Capacity Building initiative for selected member institutions that have made tremendous progress in innovative regulatory approaches and have shown commitment to take up more challenges in this policy area.

“FinTech for financial inclusion can ensure high quality and access to financial services. This peer advisory service brought together AFI members that are making significant progress and can share experiences,” emphasized Dr. Alfred Hannig, AFI Executive Director during his opening remarks at the beginning of the program.

Participants analyzed the effectiveness of a regulatory sandbox approach and learned solutions that can be designed using the sandbox approach. “Clinic sessions” were conducted to help solve specific challenges as submitted by members prior to the event, and develop actionable plans for their jurisdictions. They also discussed approaches beyond the sandbox approach that can be adopted to design regulations that support innovations.

“This program will leverage on Malaysia’s expertise and recent experience in developing enabling polices for FinTech-focused inclusion,” conveyed Kristina Rai, Director of Human Capital Development Centre, BNM during her welcome remarks at the training.

The full potential of FinTech for financial inclusion can be realized with a strategic framework of underlying infrastructure and an enabling policy and regulatory environment to support digital financial transformation. A recent AFI report provides additional guidance in this emerging area and elaborates the four key pillars of FinTech for financial inclusion in more detail. View the report, FinTech for Financial Inclusion: A Framework for Digital Financial Transformation.

Endorsed by the AFI membership at the 2018 AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF), the Sochi Accord on Fintech for Financial Inclusion calls for action from the AFI network to leverage technology for financial inclusion including FinTech solutions to mitigate the impact of de-risking, bridge the gender gap, build resilience against the risks of climate change and increase consumer protection.

“AFI as a policy leadership alliance plays an active role in the global financial inclusion policy landscape,” emphasized Dr. Hannig during his opening remarks at the training. AFI’s phase III focus is on policy leadership and in-country implementation.

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