Digital Financial Inclusion: Emerging Policy Approaches

How are countries implementing the G20 High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion?

Digital financial services, together with effective oversight and supervision, can expand the scale, scope and reach of financial services, and are essential to closing the remaining gaps in financial inclusion. Digital technologies also offer affordable and convenient ways for individuals, households and businesses to save, make payments, access credit, and obtain insurance. 

This report examines how countries are implementing measures in line with the G20 High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion (HLPs) published in 2016 - aiming at catalyzing government actions to drive financial inclusion through a focus on digital technologies. The first four over-arching HLPs provide the report structure:

  1. High Level Principle 1 calls for promoting digital financial services as a priority to drive development of inclusive financial systems, including through coordinated national strategies and action plans. 
  2. High Level Principle 2 highlights that, while innovation in financial services is essential for expanding financial inclusion, it also introduces new risks - both individual and systemic - that need to be identified and effectively addressed in a timely fashion. 
  3. High Level Principle 3 notes that for digital financial services to flourish, there needs to be a legal and regulatory framework that is predictable, risk-based and fair; that allows for new entrants and is technology-neutral; and that does not impose excessive, non-risk-based compliance costs. 
  4. High Level Principle 4 emphasizes the need for policymakers and industry to work together to achieve a robust, open and efficient digital infrastructure, including a widely accessible retail payments system and ICT infrastructure. 

About this Publication

By Douglas Pearce, Loretta Michaels, Nomsa Kachingwe & Sheirin Iravantchi