Committed to connecting the world

PP-18 coneference

Talks on Digital Financial Services (DFS)

“CCITT/ITU-T 60th Anniversary Talks on Digital Financial Services (DFS)”

09:00-10:00, 26 October, WTSA-16, Hammamet, Tunisia

Moderator:
Stephen Ibaraki, Social Entrepreneur and Futurist [ Presentation ]
 
Speakers:
Moez Chakchouk, CEO, the Tunisian Post [ Presentation ]
Ronald Webb, Director of Financial Services, Safaricom [ Presentation ]

Globally, more than 2 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. 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.

Financial inclusion has been recognized as a must in a digital world as it allows access to all aspects of the digital economy (payment, education, health, etc.). Its overarching and cross-cutting nature has been recognized by leaders of the G20 Summit who included it as one of the main pillars for the global development agenda.

Of the 2 billion that are unbanked, it is estimated that some 1.6 billion have a mobile phone in their households and this an opportunity to close the financial inclusion gap further. Digital financial services could therefore be a game changer for people of limited income and an enabler for financial inclusion in developing countries.

However, the implementation of digital financial services has not had the same degree of success in different countries. In some countries like Kenya and Tanzania, digital financial services usage have experienced remarkable growth whereas in other countries, growth has stalled.

There is a need for development of international standards and policy reforms which will facilitate the adoption of interoperable digital financial services. However, we have seen limited successful efforts in this area therefore making it important to understand the challenges and barriers involved.

The "ITU-T 60th Anniversary Talks on DFS" offers a platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in fast tracking the adoption of digital financial services and scaling up its usage.