Now reading: Cenfri invited to attend ITU working group meetings

Cenfri invited to attend ITU working group meetings

Cenfri invited to attend ITU working group meetings

8 December, 2016    

In September 2016, Barry Cooper and Masiiwa Rusare from Cenfri joined the ITU’s working group meeting on digital financial services (DFS) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to review and enhance the recommendations made by them to date.

Cenfri’s interest in ITU work arises from our MAP as well as work on measuring financial inclusion; and is based on the need to ensure the consumer or demand-side perspective informs global standards. The knock-on effect from this leads to better regulation and inclusion of financial services, and in turn enhances the livelihoods of ordinary citizens. Cenfri participated in all of the 4 working groups (namely DFS ecosystem; interoperability; technology, innovation and competition; and consumer experience and protection), but our main focus was on the DFS ecosystem and interoperability working groups, where we became part of the drafting team and editing team respectively.

Cenfri’s insights were used to refine recommendations, including the following:

  • Evidence on the need to better measure financial inclusion beyond bank accounts.
  • Evidence that use of cash is still prevalent in most African economies and transition to a cashless society needs to address key constraints such as access, cost, infrastructure, trust etc. This was particularly useful when juxtaposed against views by the “better than cash” movement that is advocating moving away from cash.
  • Evidence from MAP regarding Know Your Customer (KYC) and the need for proportionality between Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) risks and measures to address them (as per our risk-based approach study)
  • Experience in South Africa and MAP countries regarding interoperability schemes and ways conflict of law has been dealt which.

The recommendations emerging from the meeting in Tanzania will be further discussed between now and December, with a view to being adopted when they meet again in Geneva (7-8 December 2016).

Going forward, ITU expressed interest in collaborating with Cenfri, especially in piloting the emerging standards in countries where we are both doing work. We also intend to follow up with a number of national banking authorities and telecommunications representatives who wanted to know more about what we do.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania