Upcoming events to set the agenda for ITU work on mobile money and financial inclusion

The ITU-T Focus Group on Digital Financial Services will hold its first meeting at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 5 December, to set the agenda for its work to address a series of critical issues currently preventing digital financial services from reaching unbanked or under-banked populations, and to provide tools and solutions to support national policymakers and regulatory authorities in their efforts to encourage the adoption and use of these services. The meeting of the Focus Group will follow an ITU Workshop on “Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion” at the same venue, 4 December.

Global coordination in the drive towards digital finance will create opportunities for knowledge-sharing and peer-learning among market players and various types of regulators, giving them further opportunity to develop and promote harmonized practices and approaches to stimulate digital financial inclusion in developing countries and emerging markets.

Internationally harmonized policy and regulatory reform will assist the ICT and financial services sectors as they collaborate to support the development of a secure, stable and competitive ecosystem where innovation is leveraged to lift increasing numbers of people out of poverty.

The new Focus Group, established in June 2014, will see participation from a diverse range of players in reflection of its multidisciplinary mandate, which spans from technical requirements (such as interoperability and security)   to questions surrounding policy and regulation, competition, consumer protection and fraud mitigation, and the business models able to drive sustainable and scalable growth of the digital finance industry.

The workshop will receive keynote addresses from H.E. Dr Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Posts & Telecommunications of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and Mr Francis Wangusi, Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya. The workshop’s central points of discussions are envisioned as follows:

  • Overview of the activities of stakeholders in the field of digital financial services and financial inclusion
  • The enabling role of ICTs in meeting the goals of financial inclusion
  • The policy and regulatory challenges facing digital finance
  • The role of standards bodies in digital financial services
  • Security issues in digital finance
  • The main challenges to interoperability in digital financial services

The Focus Group is soliciting written input answering to the tasks and deliverables outlined by its guiding Terms of Reference. Such contributions should be addressed to the Focus Group’s secretariat at tsbfgdfs@itu.int. Participation in both the Focus Group and workshop are free of charge and open to all.

To learn more about mobile money and the motivations for the establishment of the new Focus Group, read an ITU Blog piece authored by the group’s Chairman, Sacha Polverini, Senior Program Officer for the Financial Services for the Poor program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information, please visit the Focus Group’s website or contact Mr Vijay Mauree at tsbfgdfs@itu.int or on +41 22 730 5591.

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