Commonwealth countries: unlocking the potential of fintech

By Georgia Wilson
Commonwealth Secretariat announces the launch of an innovative toolkit to help countries unlock the potential of fintech...

In an announcement made by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the organisation has established an innovative toolkit to help countries unlock the potential of fintech. By unlocking this potential, commonwealth countries aspire to drive inclusive economic progress. 

The creation of the toolkit came as a result of a request by Central Bank Governors from commonwealth countries, and has received funding from the Australian Government.

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, our work to support an enabling environment for fintech has become even more relevant. fintech plays an important role in making banking and other commercial transactions contactless and physically safer, helping to minimise the spread of the virus. Furthermore, fintech has the potential to offer economic opportunities, generate jobs, and create business where few other industries can do so,” commented Travis Mitchell, adviser and head of Economic Policy and Small States at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Over the last decade, the Commonwealth Secretariat has seen the use of fintech grow across commonwealth countries, including mobile money in Africa and Asia, central bank backed digital currency in the Caribbean and digital identity processes in the Pacific. 

The organisation identifies the impact fintech can have on countries to help overcome development challenges by improving financial inclusion, and lifting people out of poverty.

The aim of the toolkit is to support governments in the commonwealth to establish a healthy regulatory and banking environment for fintechs to grow, while also securing consumer protection and financial stability. The toolkit will also provide an action framework for practical and technical guidance. 

“It is immensely satisfying to be able to offer such very practical support to so many of our member states in their work on fintech through the production of these tools and this guidance. We know that fintech has the potential to transform lives, harness sustainable economic growth and break down barriers for the poorest and most marginalised,” commented Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General.

“Our intention is that through this toolkit and other support and guidance we shall accelerate the adoption and use of fintech to catalyse sustainable economic development and financial inclusion for millions of people across our Commonwealth family.”

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