Responsible Finance Forum

Opportunities and Risks in Digital Financial Services: Protecting Consumer Data and Privacy

Responsible Finance Forum 2017
31 July 2017

Responsible digital finance has continued to be a cross-cutting priority of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) since 2014. A cornerstone of the Universal Financial Access (UFA) goals of the World Bank Group by 2020, responsible digital finance also seeks to help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Representing the G20 Presidency in 2017, Germany heightened the importance of digitization, and the topic of data protection/privacy and security was embraced by key implementing partners and all four Sub-Groups of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.

The Responsible Finance Forum (RFF VIII) in Berlin focused on Opportunities and Risks in Digital Financial Services: Protecting Consumer Data and Privacy. The event probed more deeply into the dimension of the G20 High Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion (G20 HLP), endorsed under China’s G20 Presidency in 2016.

Key Takeaways

This year, the Forum delved into the following areas:

Identifying opportunities, risks, and policy approaches needed to address data-enabled digital financial services (DFS). The Forum provided participants with the opportunity to discover the perspectives of diverse stakeholders, for example, retail providers, FinTechs, regulators, policy makers, consumer advocates, development partners. Discussions revolved around how to most effectively address the risks and opportunities of DFS as the basis for identifying common ground, and defining the roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder profile.

Unpacking big data innovations and the role of industry. The question of how various stakeholders (for example, industry, financial providers, FinTechs, banks, Mobile Network Operators, and so on) can acknowledge and respect consumer privacy while simultaneously advancing innovation and inclusion, was explored during the Forum’s meetings.

Translating insights into action. Focus Sessions captured participant insights and priority actions across four areas: Policy and Regulation, Industry Standards, Consumer Perspectives, and Development
Partners. These areas were addressed in relation to issues of privacy and data protection as linked to digital financial services. Remaining gaps in these focus areas were noted, particularly from the various stakeholder perspectives and roles.

Focus on shared goals and forging partnerships in moving forward. With increasing digitization, members of the G20, GPFI, and all stakeholders must promote measures that ensure responsible financial inclusion as applied to digital financial services.

We hope this report will serve as a call for action that will resonate among Forum participants and beyond. We invite new and ongoing partners to join us and stay engaged in advancing responsible digital financial inclusion.

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