13 September 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good day to all of you!
A warm welcome to this virtual, three-day member training on Regional Regulatory Sandbox for Fintech Innovations: Experiences and Perspectives organized by AFI. As the Co-Chair of PIRI, I would like to welcome and thank you for joining this virtual training. A special welcome to some of our friends from Latin America and the Caribbean for showing their keen interest in this regional regulatory sandbox initiative.
Over the years, the AFI network has closely followed the rise of financial technologies and its impact on everyday life. Recognizing the potential of FinTech to fulfil the long-term promise of full financial inclusion, AFI network formalized its ideas to effectively supervise digital financial services and Fintech to achieve full financial inclusion in 2018 under the umbrella of Sochi Accord. The Sochi Accord on FinTech for Financial Inclusion provides a platform for AFI members to understand the risks of technology, share lessons and experiences with FinTech and design appropriate regulatory interventions.
Since then, the individual nations in the Pacific region have made commendable progress in creating and fostering an enabling ecosystem to promote FinTechs in the region. Through this journey, we have achieved several milestones at the national level as well as the regional level such as the creation and adoption of the Pacific Region Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines. The PIRI sandbox, as we call it, is set to be launched later this year. We are seeing more evidence of how Inclusive FinTech can be adopted and adapted to the context of jurisdictions to advance yet sustain gains made in financial inclusion.
Taking forward PIRI’s common vision of making financial services available to wider network of people at affordable price, the regional regulatory sandbox is a first of a global initiative enabling sustainable regulated environment for FinTech and innovators to test & iterate financial products and services in a live environment and maintain financial integrity and financial stability in parallel.
The sandbox will act as a springboard to spur innovations, tackle impacts of the COVID-19 on the MSMEs, remittance, tourism industry & economy, address barriers to exclusion, collect proven insights to inform proportional and adequate regulation, supervision, and oversight of FinTechs, and ensure an inclusive digital economy for all – vulnerable segments, women, youth, older people, rural communities, forcibly displaced etc.
With this vision, the three-day training is designed to enable readiness of PIRI members for the implementation of the regional sandbox. I am sure, you will benefit from the training, which is based on two AFI knowledge products, Innovative Regulatory Approaches Toolkit, and the Pacific Regional Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines, and has brought global FinTech experts, regulators from other jurisdictions including from developed countries, private sector players and AFI partners to share their experiences on regulatory sandbox.
Once again, I welcome you to make the most of AFI’s platform, which encourages peer learning and knowledge exchange among AFI network. Constituted on the power of a collective and collaborative approach, the Pacific Regional Regulatory Sandbox, is the world’s first shared regulatory sandbox resource, which demonstrates that the Pacific’s journey of financial inclusion is on the right path. As participant member institutions share their insights, ideas, thoughts, solutions, and experiences during this training and beyond, we expect practical and innovative digital finance solutions supported by relevant policies to stem out from this initiative. This, we hope, will ensure meaningful expansion of access, responsible usage, and sustained quality of financial services, while building the financial integrity, stability and conduct within all participating markets.
Let me take this opportunity to emphasize that PIRI aims to make formal financial services accessible to all Pacific Islanders through its unique model of south-south engagement and peer learning. I thank AFI MU for organizing it. I extend my appreciation to the participating institutions for your nomination to this training, which is a true indication of the commitment of the PIRI network to leverage DFS for financial inclusion. Further, I am confident the learning from the training will inform, engage, and provide best practices for regulatory sandbox implementation to member institutions and other regions. I look forward to a productive session for all of us.
Wishing you all the best!