On 23 November, AFI’s Digital Financial Services Working Group held a webinar exploring the potential of inclusive instant payment systems (IPS) to drive financial inclusion, drawing on the experience of countries around the globe.
Instant payment systems, which allow money to be transferred in seconds between individuals, vendors and banks, are seen by many as a potential driver of financial inclusion due to their suitability for high-volume, low-value transactions.
Over 120 participants from 55 AFI member institutions took part in the webinar, which analyzed the diverse approaches being taken to IPS across the AFI network. Speakers from Cambodia, El Salvador, Pakistan and Tanzania shared their experiences in implementing IPS, discussing use cases and features, governance and regulatory frameworks, as well as pricing and costing aspects.
The financial sustainability of instant payment platforms was also discussed, as well as the question of who should own them. A session on IPS implementation from a central banking perspective touched on market readiness, regulatory compliance, financial inclusion strategies, and the importance of effective education and dispute resolution.
“The potential of instant payment systems to advance financial inclusion is increasingly recognized,” said Ghiyazuddin Ali Mohammad, AFI Senior Policy Manager. “Today’s webinar brought home the need for universally accessible systems, as well as collaborative models involving both public and private stakeholders.”