The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), at the just concluded annual Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) 2016 held in Egypt, reached out to the financial sector for the first time by organizing the Global Dialogue on Digital Financial Inclusion.
The GSR 2016 hosted regulators and non-traditional ICT players who came together to discuss how to join forces to create an enabling environment to support the achievement of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
ITU says it is seeing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as the foundation of economic and social development, and is working more and more with non-traditional ICT players because ICTs are increasingly recognised as an essential pillar of many areas of life in the converged ICT ecosystem.
“Today, there are 2 billion people around the world without access to traditional banking services. But, information and communication technology (ICT) can fill this need by providing access to basic financial services through mobile and online devices.
“E-applications, including e-banking and e-payment, enable the development of small, micro and individual enterprises, and also helps provide support to families in rural and remote areas”, ITU says.
According to the UN specialised agency, “we have seen examples such as M-Pesa in East Africa, one of the world’s most successful money transfer services, and other such opportunities where financial services have become available at an affordable cost to people around the world.”
ITU adds that, “we are starting a constructive and inclusive dialogue that will provide the ICT and financial sectors with an opportunity to meet, share views and experiences, and identify good practices for collaborative regulation. Together, we can harness the power of ICTs as an essential pillar of economic and social development.”