The Bali Fintech Agenda: Expanding Access to Financial Services

The Bali Fintech Agenda: Expanding Access to Financial Services

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have developed and launched, in occasion of their Annual Meetings in Indonesia, the “Bali Fintech Agenda”. It is a paper basically intended to support policymakers around the world to harness the opportunities emerging with the rapid growth of fintech, with a particular focus on facilitating financial inclusion for the unbanked.

The agenda outlines 12 elements to be taken into consideration by the members’ governments when preparing new regulations and policies, to take advantage of financial technology innovation, but also to limit the possible risks and keep the existing financial systems safe for all the parties involved.

The elements included in the agenda that was presented are:

  1. Embrace the promise of fintech.
  2. Enable new technologies to enhance financial service provision.
  3. Reinforce competition and commitment to open, free, and contestable markets.
  4. Foster fintech to promote financial inclusion and develop financial markets.
  5. Monitor developments closely to deepen understanding of evolving financial systems.
  6. Adapt regulatory framework and supervisory practices for orderly development and stability of the financial system.
  7. Safeguard the integrity of financial systems.
  8. Modernize legal frameworks to provide an enabling legal landscape.
  9. Ensure the stability of domestic monetary and financial systems.
  10. Develop robust financial and data infrastructure to sustain fintech benefits.
  11. Encourage international cooperation and information-sharing.
  12. Enhance collective surveillance of the international monetary and financial system.

It was just about one month ago when we talked about the World Bank, because of the bond-I launch, together with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the first bond in the world that has been created, allocated and managed by using blockchain. And we are now witnessing another good initiative related to fintech again coming from such an important international entity.

“The Bali Fintech Agenda provides a framework to support the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in low-income countries, where access to financial services is low, […] Countries are demanding deeper access to financial markets, and the World Bank Group will focus on delivering fintech solutions that enhance financial services, mitigate risks, and achieve stable, inclusive economic growth.” said Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President.

Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund covered the financial inclusion topic too: “There are an estimated 1.7 billion adults in the world without access to financial services, […] Fintech can have a major social and economic impact for them and across the membership in general. All countries are trying to reap these benefits, while also mitigating the risks. We need greater international cooperation to achieve that, and to make sure the fintech revolution benefits the many and not just the few. This Agenda provides a useful framework for countries to assess their policy options and adapt them to their own circumstances and priorities.”

If interested to find out more, you can download the “Bali Fintech Agenda” for free, on the IMF website.

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