Egypt, represented by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), has hosted the Second edition of the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) symposium, in cooperation with ITU, the World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, At the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski Hotel, First Settlement, in Cairo, in the period from 22 to 24 January 2019.
This initiative deals with digital financial inclusion due to their great significance in facilitating the financial transactions, making all communities access them, especially the remote areas. This necessitated the establishment of a global financial inclusion initiative that provides resources to help change plans into a concrete reality and measure the success attained by these initiatives. The symposium, entitled "Enabling the comprehensive digital financial services: the national and thematic ecosystems", aims to:
- Provide a unique platform for sharing best practices and lessons learned on various digital financial models and services, the regulatory approach, risk reduction methods in the speedily-changing ICT environment and the impact of emerging technologies on the ecosystem;
- Present the digital financial inclusion initiatives and innovations at the global level;
- Provide an intellectual leadership for digital financial inclusion strategies and technological innovations in DFS.
ITU considers Egypt one of three "model" developing countries, along with China and Mexico, as it receives technical assistance from the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) community in introducing policy reforms to stimulate digital inclusion and integration. The Second edition of the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) symposium has addressed the best practices and lessons learned from China, Egypt and Mexico in spreading and promoting electronic payments, and all efforts exerted to capitalize on the innovation of financial technology (Fintech), harmonization of ICT and financial affairs regulation.
The symposium conducted a workshop on topics related to digital financial services, a presentation on the digital financial services, a capacity-building session for regulators, in addition to a dialogue session between regulators.
It should be noted that the Symposium has addressed a number of important topics: data privacy in digital finance, policy considerations regarding digital finance identity, e-payment acceptance status, secure authentication technologies, “Know Your customer” registries, artificial intelligence for financial inclusion, ‘Sandboxes’ to foster and regulate financial innovation, and data analysis to understand the reach of digital financial services.
In this year's Forum, a Hackathon competition, organized by ITU, will be held for the companies and youth. The topic for the hackathon is Enabling Financial Inclusion with Open and Common APIs for Merchant Payments. There is an increasing business and regulatory need for financial institutions to create open APIs, which would enable industry standardization and reduce costs for deploying such solutions for small merchants. This competition aims to encourage the emergence of a market for open APIs, enabling small traders to adopt e-payment services at the lowest cost. The symposium is expected to bring together participants from more than 50 countries from throughout the globe as the telecom / ICT companies, central banks, financial institutions, decision- makers, digital financial service providers and relevant stakeholders from throughout the world.