UNSW co-authors major financial inclusion report

UNSW co-authors major financial inclusion report

Professor Ross Buckley of UNSW Sydney has co-authored an international report that highlights the difficulty in accessing basic financial services for billions of people around the world.

The “FinTech for Financial Inclusion” report will be presented at the 3rd annual Inclusive and Sustainable Finance Research Conference on 13 November in Luxembourg.

The report was commissioned by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion , a global thought leader on financial inclusion policy and regulation. Its members include more than 100 central banks, regulatory bodies and government institutions from 93 emerging and developing economies.

Together with his co-authors – Professor Douglas Arner of the University of Hong Kong and Professor Dirk Zetzsche of the University of Luxembourg – Professor Buckley has developed a road map to harness the full potential of fintech for financial inclusion. Their approach is based around four key pillars:

· Empowering access through digital identification, electronic Know-Your-Customer (eKYC) services and simplified account opening.

· Enabling use by developing digital payments infrastructure and open electronic payment systems.

· Scaling use and encouraging digitisation of government payments and provision of services.

· Expanding the quality and range of services through sound financial market infrastructure and systems.

The implementation of these pillars will help under-served communities gain easier access by facilitating identification in areas where formal ID is often lacking.

The second step is to create the platforms needed to carry out transactions.

With the foundations laid, the third pillar could help apply technology in everyday lives by managing government payments and services (such as salaries, pensions, etc.) through digital platforms.

Once the fundamental infrastructure is laid in pillars 1-3, a broader ecosystem can be developed.

“Some 1.7 billion people around the world lack access to the most basic financial services. This is expensive, complicates their lives, and tends to keep them trapped in poverty,” Professor Buckley said. “Our framework provides a road map to assist national regulators to get their regulatory settings right and support the extension of basic savings and payments services, in the first instance, to these financially excluded people.”

Professor Zetzsche, Professor Arner and Ali Ghiyazuddin Mohammad, digital financial services policy manager at AFI, will discuss the report and its findings at the 3rd University of Luxembourg Inclusive and Sustainable Finance Research Conference, on 13 November 2018. The full program and registration details are available online.

The event aligns with a recently signed letter of intent between the University of Luxembourg and the Ministry of Finance to promote research and teaching in sustainable finance.

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