Two billion people, representing more than 40% of the world’s adults, are still excluded from the financial system. These people live primarily in developing countries and in rural areas. Women too remain under-represented in the financial system in developing countries. Digital financial services (DFS) offer great potential to meet the financial needs of poor and unbanked consumers. Using agents and digital channels for financial transactions can lower costs significantly compared with similar transactions conducted at physical branches of financial service providers. As technology continues to develop, so too do the opportunities to harness innovation for financial inclusion.
The FIGI Symposium will be held on an annual basis over the next three years (2017-2020) in order to provide a forum for dialogue regulators from telecom and financial services, DFS providers and all concerned stakeholders to share their experience and views on the main challenges to be addressed for scaling up DFS.
The main objectives of the Symposium are to:
- provide a unique platform for regulators, policymakers and DFS experts to share lessons learned about the different digital financial models and services, the regulatory sandbox approach, ways to mitigate risks in fast changing ICT and digital payment environments, and the impact of emerging technologies on the ecosystem;
- showcase digital financial inclusion initiatives and innovations taking place at the international level; and
- provide thought leadership on digital financial inclusion strategies and technological innovations in the area of DFS.
The event will bring together telecom/ICT and financial regulators, policymakers, digital financial services providers, payment system organizations and other DFS stakeholders from around the world. The first day of the event is dedicated to the meetings of the FIGI working groups and is on invitation only. The second and third days are open for participation and features a series of thematic workshops, country showcases and capacity building for regulators to keep up to date with developments and technological innovations in DFS. The Symposium concludes with the adoption by participants of a set of best practice guidelines and pledge to accelerate digital financial inclusion. The Symposium also offers a unique networking opportunity with the different stakeholders and players in the DFS ecosystem.