Advances in complex technologies are transforming the way people interact with and use consumer financial services. This month’s Bulletin highlights how innovation in financial technology will support the burgeoning ‘digital economy’, and how banks, businesses and regulators should react to unfamiliar and disruptive challenges. Greg Medcraft of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission explains why the increased use of technology cannot be used as an
excuse for shifting risk on to consumers. One authority at the forefront of digital developments is the Bank of Japan. Hiromi Yamaoka describes how the BoJ and the European Central Bank are collaborating on improving their payments and settlements systems through innovations in distributed ledger technology. Jeff Bandman sets out 10 core principles for promoting engagement between fintech companies and regulatory authorities.
Pēteris Zilgalvis of the European Commission outlines the development of the European ‘digital single market’, and the emphasis on free flow of data across borders. Mojmír Hampl, vice-governor of the Czech National Bank, argues that alternative currencies are still negligible in size and scope and do not constitute any threat to the monetary system. Former Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman writes that developing countries can serve as suitable incubators for testing advances in fintech, and why this is strengthening financial inclusion among the unbanked population in developing countries. Matthew Saal, head of digital finance in the financial institutions group of the International Finance Corporation, describes how innovators in emerging markets are exploiting a gap left by the formal banking sector. One such market is Kenya, where pioneering mobile technology is making the country a leader in the field, as Oliver Thew details.
On 13 October OMFIF is launching its Africa Financial Markets Index, which measures countries’ openness to foreign investment. Ben Robinson and Bhavin Patel explain the economic background of the index’s findings, and Seedwell Hove reports on sub-Saharan Africa’s economic performance. In Latin America, Otaviano Canuto describes how the Brazilian judiciary’s corruption investigation will bring major long-term benefits.