Australian professor co-authors major financial inclusion report

A new international report has been co-authored by an Australian professor, looking into the difficulties that many people face across the world accessing basic financial services. The research piece, FinTech for Financial Inclusion, is being presented at a conference in Luxembourg after being commissioned by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, a global thought leader on the topic.

Professor Ross Buckley of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) was in a team with Professor Douglas Arner (University of Hong Kong) and Professor Dirk Zetzsche (University of Luxembourg). The researchers developed a roadmap for the role of fintech in financial inclusion, with four key arms to the map:

  1. Empowerment through digital identification, account opening, and Know-Your-Customer (eKYC) services.

  2. Digital payment infrastructure development and open electronic payment systems use enabling.

  3. Scaling use of digital services including government payments and services.

  4. Expand the range of services and improve quality via financial market infrastructure and systems.

Helping communities to access financial services more easily is key to inclusion, for example having a formal identification card. Platforms are required for transactions, with the next step being government involvement in terms of payments and pensions via these platforms. This sets up the ecosystem.

The researchers explain that 1.7 billion people don’t have the most basic financial services, which is costly, complicated, and can keep people trapped in poverty.