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Digital Financial Services
Working Group (DFSWG)

Digital Financial Services
Working Group (DFSWG)

Digital financial services (DFS) comprises a broad range of financial services accessed and delivered through digital channels, including payments, credit, savings, remittances and insurance. It also includes mobile financial services.

Digital Financial Services (DFS) has been a cornerstone of AFI’s work since its inception. This continues to be a key focus area for AFI members, as use-cases evolve with new and emerging technologies and the overlap with other core mandates of regulatory and policymaking objectives of market conduct, consumer protection, financial inclusion data and strategies, not forgetting SME finance. Furthermore, the rapid technological advances of DFS have increased the scope of work in this space significantly. The proliferation of digital identity systems, data driven financial products/services, crypto-currencies, blockchain applications, new ways for governments to augment the supervision of the financial industry and for the industry to automate compliance, all have immense potential for the member-base of AFI, hence, creating new opportunities for AFI to provide policy leadership, facilitate peer-learning and knowledge exchange, guidance and implementation support and extensive advocacy.

AFI and its members are actively working towards improving financial inclusion globally through their Maya Declaration commitments and increasing support for in-country implementation and measurable policy changes.

Fundamental and emerging topics under DFS are explored in-depth through AFI’s Digital Financial Services Working Group (DFSWG).

Digital Financial Services (DFS) remains one of the key drivers to accelerate women’s financial inclusion and empowerment, and to closing the gender gap in access to financial services. This is attributed to the convenience and affordability of financial services offered through DFS, helping address the challenges of mobility, and bringing convenience and safety to the women, as they transact in the comfort of their own spaces.

Resultantly, there has been remarkable growth in the adoption of DFS in the AFI network. While there has been an exponential growth in the use of DFS globally, the gender gap is persisting. The good news, however, is that technology is continually evolving, providing a chance to explore new ways of customizing financial services to the unique needs of women.   

Reflects the network’s financial inclusion intervention priorities, DFS targets make up a significant share of Maya Declaration commitments with at least one appearing in every 50 commitments. DFS is among the top three working groups — alongside CEMC and FID — in terms of a continued uptick in commitments that address the usage and quality of financial inclusion.

Primary thematic area 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

Digital financial services

  • National payment system
  • Agent banking
  • Mobile financial services
  • E-Money
Maya Declaration targets 38 52 68 72 89 95 111 160 165 181 215 258
Completed 21 27 37 38 43 47 48 60 65 80 95 120
In progress 17 25 30 33 46 48 67 100 96 101 120 138
Completion rate 55% 52% 54% 53% 48% 49% 40.1% 38% 39% 44% 44% 46.51%


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AFI’s Digital Financial Services Working Group (DFSWG)

A platform for policymakers to discuss regulatory issues relating to digital financial services, including mobile financial services, branchless banking, electronic money and digital payment solutions.

DFSWG aims to promote digital financial services as a major driver of greater financial inclusion in emerging and developing countries.

It encourages policymakers to exchange experiences to develop a shared understanding of the risks in emerging digital financial services business models. At the same time, it works with global standard-setting bodies in order to represent the voice of developing and emerging countries.



Dr. Josephat Mutepfa, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

Co-Chair I

Tsolmontuya Bold, Financial Regulatory Commission Mongolia

Co-Chair II


Gender Focal Point

Ann Valery Victor, Banque de la République d'Haiti

  • Create an enabling policy and regulatory environment for transformational DFS at national levels;
  • Develop a shared understanding of the risk profiles of emerging digital financial services business models, which is essential in designing appropriate regulatory frameworks;
  • Stimulate discussion and learning on new approaches and good practices in DFS regulation by encouraging policymakers to exchange experiences;
  • Provide a platform for capturing, tracking and sharing information on innovative DFS, products, business models and appropriate new policy responses;
  • Establish linkages and provide inputs, where appropriate, to global Standard-Setting bodies (SSBs) and other stakeholders seeking to establish proportionate supervisory practices for DFS.

Policy approaches to Virtual Assets (VA) and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP) (joint with GSPWG)       

Description: The objective of this knowledge product (KP) is to support the AFI network with policy guidance and approaches to:

i. financial inclusion use cases for VAs and VASPs particularly from experiences and proven pilots led in the private and humanitarian sectors whereby there have been concrete instances or evidence of contribution and advancement of financial inclusion;

ii. VAs and VASPs policy decisions covering regulation (where applicable) and supervision, including how the balance between financial inclusion, financial integrity, financial stability, and consumer protection can be achieved.

Planned deliverable: Guideline Note on Virtual Assets and Virtual Assets Service Providers for Financial Inclusion: Policy and Regulatory Approaches

DFS and FinTech Ecosystem Data for Supervision and Market Intelligence

Description: To provide clear and actionable guidance on DFS and FinTech ecosystem approaches to data collection, usage (within defined limits and addressing questions on the why, what, how), and decision making for broad outcomes and implications, including ecosystem intelligence gathering, proactive decision making, market conduct and supervision amongst other policy goals.

Planned deliverable: Guideline Note on DFS and FinTech Ecosystem Data for Supervision and Market Intelligence











  • Maldives Monetary Authority
    Regulation of Payment Services
  • SEPs Ecuador
  • BCR El Salvador
    National Fintech Strategy
  • Maldives Monetary Authority
    Guideline and Regulation on Electronic Customer Due Diligence
  • Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
    Enhancing the Guidelines on Electronic Know-Your-Customer (e-KYC)
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
    Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines
  • Banco Central de Reserva El Salvador
    Draft Law for the Promotion of FinTech Entities and Regulation of Digital Financial Services
  • Bank of Papua New Guinea
    Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines and the e-KYC Prudential Standards
  • Reserve Bank of Vanuatu
    Draft Guideline on Oversight on Retail Payments Systems (RPS) in Vanuatu
  • Central Bank of Mauritania
    Draft Digital Payments Strategy
  • Autorité de Contrôle de la Microfinance
  • Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Regulation and Development of Financial market
  • Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador
  • Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe
  • Banco Central del Paraguay
  • Banco de Moçambique
  • Banco Nacional de Angola
  • Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
  • Bangladesh Bank
  • Bank Al-Maghrib
  • Bank Negara Malaysia
  • Bank of Ghana
  • Bank of Namibia
  • Bank of Papua New Guinea
  • Bank of Sierra Leone
  • Bank of Tanzania
  • Bank of Uganda
  • Bank of Zambia
  • Banque Centrale de la République de Guinée
  • Banque Centrale de Madagascar
  • Banque Centrale de Mauritanie
  • Banque Centrale de Tunisie
  • Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO)
  • Banque Centrale du Congo
  • Banque de la République d’Haiti
  • Banque de la République du Burundi
  • Central Bank of Armenia
  • Central Bank of Egypt
  • Central Bank of Eswatini
  • Central Bank of Jordan
  • Central Bank of Lesotho
  • Central Bank of Liberia
  • Central Bank of Nigeria
  • Central Bank of Samoa
  • Central Bank of Seychelles
  • Central Bank of Solomon Islands
  • Central Bank of Sri Lanka
  • Central Bank of the Bahamas
  • Central Bank of The Gambia
  • Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Central Bank of Sudan
  • Centrale Bank van Suriname
  • Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores de México (CNBV)
  • Comisión Nacional de Bancos y Seguros de Honduras
  • Comisión Nacional de Bancos y Seguros de Honduras
  • Délégation Générale à l’Entreprenariat Rapide des Femmes et des Jeunes (DER F/J)
  • Direction Générale du Trésor, Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances, Madagascar
  • Jordan Payments and Clearing Company
  • Microcredit Regulatory Authority of Bangladesh
  • Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances, Madagascar
  • Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia
  • Maldives Monetary Authority
  • Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances de la Côte d’Ivoire
  • Ministère des Finances et du Budget du Sénégal
  • Ministry of Finance – Eswatini
  • Ministry of Finance and National Planning Zambia
  • Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Zimbabwe
  • National Bank of Cambodia
  • National Bank of Rwanda
  • National Bank of Tajikistan
  • National Reserve Bank of Tonga
  • Nepal Rastra Bank
  • Palestine Monetary Authority
  • People’s Bank of China
  • Reserve Bank of Fiji
  • Reserve Bank of Malawi
  • Reserve Bank of Vanuatu
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
  • South African Reserve Bank
  • State Bank of Pakistan
  • Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y AFP del Peru
  • Superintendencia de Bancos de la República Dominicana
  • Superintendencia de la Economía Popular y Solidaria de Ecuador
  • Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras de Costa Rica (SUGEF)
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Events 1st: Cape Town, South Africa
2nd: Bali, Indonesia
3th: Bangkok, Thailand
4th: Riviera Maya, Mexico
5th: Moscow, Russia
6th: Cape Town, South Africa
7th: Antigua, Guatemala
8th: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
9th: Arusha, Tanzania
10th: Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
11th: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
12th: Maputo, Mozambique
13th: Yerevan, Armenia
14th: Nadi, Fiji
15th: Accra, Ghana
16th: Sharm ElSheikh, Egypt
17th: Aman, Jordan
18th: Sochi, Russia
19th: Nassau, The Bahamas
20th: Kigali, Rwanda
21th: Virtual Meeting
22th: Virtual Meeting
23th: Virtual Meeting
24th: Virtual Meeting
Member Institutions N/A N/A 32 46 50 59 65 66 62 62 66 68
Knowledge Products
0 0 0 4 8 8 9 10 14 19 21 28
Policy Changes
4 10 14 23 37 44 54 91 97 143 184 TBD
Peer Reviews
0 1 6 8 10 13 15 16 18 19 20 TBD


Trends and recent research by the Bank of International Settlement indicates an acceleration in the exploration of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) globally. Within the AFI network, about 40 percent of members have conducted experiments with 10 percent at pilot stages. This reflects a significant interest in understanding, exploring, and taking forward CBDC related interventions by the AFI network, as seen with the recent launch of Sanddollar by the Central Bank of The Bahamas.
The objective of this technical webinar hosted by the DFSWG was to address these questions through a plenary session delivered by technical experts, regulators and industry stakeholders, including country sharing from the AFI network. The webinar deep-dived into identifying the motivating factors for this growing interest, and its implications to monetary policy, financial system integrity & stability, consumer protection, and especially linkages to financial inclusion is therefore imperative.

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