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 contributed to increasing financial inclusion of women, but in some countries, it has been disproportional. Even though access to finance for women is rising, the gender gap is still persistent” (Dr. Alfred Hannig, Executive Director, AFI).
The key to success in financially empowering women is through gathering data, analyzing insight and continuously crafting effective strategies to engage and include 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|
Digital financial services
|Maya Declaration targets||38||52||68||72||89||95||111||160||165|
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.
Ehab Nasr, Central Bank of Egypt
Candy Ngula, Bank of Namibia
Stephen Ambore, Central Bank of Nigeria
Gender Focal Point
Clarissa Kudowor, Bank of Ghana
RegTech Technical Taskforce (DFSWG Focal Points)
CBDC and Financial Inclusion
|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
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.
The AFI network-wide webinar with BigTech leaders, ecosystem experts and financial regulators discusses the role of BigTechs and digital platforms in response to the global emergency, the linkages on deepening financial inclusion, as well as how these technology players align and support regulatory measure and policy interventions. Topics covered include: digital infrastructure resilience, provision of essential services such as groceries and deliveries, payments and financial services, cybersecurity and fraud, compliance and measures to check high risk, AML/CFT transactions, and other broader policy and regulatory concerns such as data protection, data privacy, competition, awareness/education and consumer protection.- Read More