A key challenge to achieving digital financial inclusion is supervisory capacity and resources. This program was developed with regard to the widespread recognition of this fact, acknowledged most recently in the G20 High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion. As noted under Principle 3: Provide an Enabling and Proportionate Legal and Regulatory Framework for Digital Financial Inclusion:
It is… important that supervisors of the legal and regulatory framework relevant to digital financial inclusion have the skills, capacity, and resources to effectively supervise relevant entities and the market generally. This should include the ability to understand the digital technologies involved, innovations in digital financial services markets, evolving risks, and markets. Supervisors should also be able to leverage new technologies to conduct their supervisory activities in an efficient and effective manner. … A risk-based approach to compliance and oversight is also needed for a proportionate approach to supervision.
The 2016 G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) White Paper on Global Standard-Setting Bodies and Financial Inclusion: The Evolving Landscape also provided important insights on the issue of supervisory capacity. The White Paper notes:
Financial supervisors are facing important challenges to carry out their mandates effectively in the context of the increasingly complex financial sector landscape and the questions it raises regarding the supervisory perimeter (page 74).
Against this background, program participants discussed key concepts, best practices and specific challenges for supervision of digital financial inclusion frameworks over five days. Topics of special interest included safeguarding clients’ funds, supervision of agent networks, interoperability and the entitlement to interest on trust accounts holding an amount equal to client’s balances on e-money accounts.
Ros was one of the developers for the program content and a Program Leader for the pilot.