Committed to connecting the world

Focus Group on Digital Financial Services


The ITU-T Focus Group Digital Financial Services was established by ITU-T TSAG at its meeting in Geneva, 17-20 June 2014.

Globally, more than 2.5 billion adults do not have a formal bank account, most of them in developing economies. Low levels of financial inclusion represent a barrier to socio-economic development in developing countries. Mobile money can be a game changer for people of limited income and an enabler for financial inclusion in developing countries. As indicated by a growing body of evidence, increasing the poor's access to high quality, affordable financial services will accelerate the well-being of households, communities, and economies in the developing world. One of the most promising ways to deliver these financial services to the poor – profitably and at scale – is by using digital payment platforms. The recent growth of digital financial services has allowed millions of people who are otherwise excluded from the formal financial system to perform financial transactions relatively cheaply, securely, and reliably. 

Digital financial services can expand the delivery of basic financial services to the poor through new technologies like mobile phones, electronic money and new channels such as retail agents. These channels can drastically drive down costs for customers and service providers, opening the door to remote and underserved populations. Smartphones coupled with innovations in technologies such as near field communications (NFC) and cloud computing is also changing the landscape of this field.

The main objectives of this focus group are to: 

  • Identify the technology trends in digital financial services over the coming years and how the role of various stakeholders in this ecosystem will evolve. This will include identifying underlying frameworks, new business models and public private partnership arrangements necessary for digital financial services.
  • Establish liaisons and relationships with other organizations which could contribute to the standardization activities of digital financial services.
  • Describe the ecosystem for digital financial services in developed and developing countries and the respective roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders in the ecosystem.
  • Identify successful use cases for implementation of secure digital financial services including developing countries with a particular focus on the benefits for women;
  • Suggest future ITU-T study items and related actions for various ITU-T study groups for example on:
    1.  Concepts, coverage, vision and use cases of digital financial services.
    2.  Characteristics and requirements for digital financial services.
    3.  Architectural framework for digital financial services including security of mobile transactions.
  • Work towards the creation of an enabling framework for digital financial services which could be submitted, through TSAG, for endorsement at the ITU Global Regulators Symposium.

Parent group: TSAG
Click here for Terms of Reference

Management and Contacts

Sacha Polverini, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 

TSB Secretariat
Vijay Mauree