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ITU, others unveil digital financial inclusion programme

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have unveiled a new global programme to advance research in digital finance and accelerate digital financial inclusion in developing countries.

The three-year programme tagged: ‘Financial Inclusion Global Initiative’ focuses on three different “model” developing countries, China, Egypt and Mexico and consists of two complementary operational and knowledge work streams aimed at accelerating the connection of millions of unbanked people to formal financial systems.

The operational work stream supports each country’s national authority – countries in which digital financial inclusion can significantly improve access to financial services for a large number of people without access to financial services.

The knowledge work stream is designed to advance research and develop policy recommendations in three key areas of digital finance: security of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and trust in digital financial services; digital IDs for financial services; and acceptance and use of e-payments by micro and small-scale merchants and their customers.

The inter-agency working groups tackling these issues will share findings at annual symposia. The first of these is scheduled to be the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative Symposium 2017, will be held in Bangalore, India, from 29 November to 1 December 2017 and hosted by the Government of India.

Tony Nwakaegho

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