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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 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 area201220132014201520162017201820192020

Digital financial services

  • National payment system
  • Agent banking
  • Mobile financial services
  • E-Money
Maya Declaration targets385268728995111160165
In progress1725303346486710096
Completion rate55%52%54%53%48%49%40.1%38%39%


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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.



Candy Ngula, Bank of Namibia

Co-Chair 1

Dr. Stephen Ambore, Central Bank of Nigeria

Co-Chair 2

Dr. Josephat Mutepfa, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

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.

RegTech Technical Taskforce (DFSWG Focal Points)

  • Planned deliverable: Special Report on Regtech for Financial Inclusion.

CBDC and Financial Inclusion

  • Planned deliverable: Special report to introduce members to CBDCs from a financial inclusion context, deliver an understanding of the underlying motivation, design choices and approach, risk mitigation options and provide insights into policy and regulatory implications to be considered in the evaluation of CBDC within an inclusive, sustainable, and secure financial system context. The work will be led by DFSWG and supported by other relevant working groups.










  • Bank of Zambia
    Setting of interchange for the national financial switch transactions
  • State Bank of Pakistan
    Digital Bank Regulatory Framework- Exposure Draft
  • Central Bank of Lesotho
    Draft Payment Systems Bill
  • Bank of Mozambique
    Payment Fintech Regulation and Supervision Framework 
    Regulatory Sandbox
  • Central Bank of Nigeria
    Draft National Fintech Strategy
  • Superintendencia de Banca y Seguros del Perú
    Draft regulation on “Information security and cybersecurity management”
  • Bank of Sierra Leone
    Tiered KYC Requirements
  • Central Bank of Sri Lanka
    Financial Technology Regulatory Sandbox
  • Central Bank of Egypt
    Regulatory Sandbox
  • Da Afghanistan Bank
    2016 Electronic Money Institution’s Regulation
  • Banco Central de Timor-Leste
    Regulation on Electronic Fund Transfers
  • Central Bank of Sudan
    Mobile Payment Rules
  • Direction Générale du Trésor, Ministère
    des Finances et du Budget (Madagascar) Law on E-Money and E-Money Issuers
  • Bank of Ghana
    Guidelines for E-Money issuers
  • Bank of Tanzania
    MFS regulations (2011), E-Money regulations (2015)
  • Central Bank of Yemen
    Regulations on mobile e-money services
  • SBS Peru
    Help and redress mechanisms (alternative dispute resolution)
  • Banque Centrale de la République de Guinèe (BCRG)
    Circular letter on MFS and Agent Banking
  • National Bank of Ethiopia
    MFS and agent banking service directives
  • Bank of Sierra Leone
    Guidelines on mobile money services
  • Central Bank of Liberia
    Guidelines on mobile money services
  • Bank of Papua New Guinea
    MFS regulations
  • Reserve Bank of Malawi
    Agent banking regulations
  • Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan
    E-Money issuing regulations
  • Central Bank of Egypt
    Regulatory Sandbox approach
  • Central Bank of Sierra Leone
    Tiered KYC Framework
  • Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador
  • Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe
  • Banco Central de Timor-Leste
  • 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 Thailand
  • 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 the Russian Federation
  • Centrale Bank van Suriname
  • Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores de México (CNBV)
  • Comisión Nacional de Bancos y Seguros de HondurasDirection Générale du Trésor, 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 Zambia
  • National Bank of Cambodia
  • National Bank of Rwanda
  • National Bank of Tajikistan
  • National Bank of the Republic of Belarus
  • National Reserve Bank of Tonga
  • Nepal Rastra Bank
  • Palestine Monetary Authority
  • Reserve Bank of Fiji
  • Reserve Bank of Malawi
  • Reserve Bank of Vanuatu
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
  • Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan
  • Russian Microfinance Center
  • 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)
Events1st: 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 InstitutionsN/AN/A32465059656662626668
Knowledge Products
Policy Changes
Peer Reviews


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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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

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