The fast-growing field of digital finance offers huge opportunities to low-income people traditionally excluded from formal financial services. These benefits as well as the challenges of digital financial inclusion were the theme of a major conference held in Basel on 30-31 October that was attended by representatives from the six global standard-setting bodies and the GPFI.
Hosted by the Financial Stability Institute of the Bank for International Settlements, the conference was the second G20 GPFI Conference on Standard Setting Bodies and Financial Inclusion. Formally opened by BIS General Manager, Jaime Caruana, the Basel gathering explored the implications of low-cost digital transaction platforms for regulators, supervisors, standard-setting bodes and customers themselves. An estimated 2.5 billion people currently use only cash in their daily lives with little or no access to formal financial services like loans, credit insurance and savings.
“The regulatory, supervisory and standard-setting challenges – and likewise the solutions – include those we currently face, and others we can only imagine as billions of new digital finance users go online," said Mr. Caruana in prepared opening remarks.
The conference Issues Paper on digital financial inclusion, a key points document, the conference presentations, and a photo slideshow can be accessed below. These provide an overview of the themes treated at the conference, which focus on exploring what lies ahead in term of digital financial inclusion and on working to determine the roles that SSBs can play jointly in influencing the changing landscape of digital financial inclusion. A video shown at the beginning of the conference looks at the dramatic pace of digital finance and its impact on the lives of billions of people, particularly in developing countries.
(Photo By: Arne Hoel/World Bank)