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Ms. Marianne Bechara, Wouter Bossu, Ms. Yan Liu, and Arthur Rossi
Fintech presents unique opportunities for central banks. The rapid changes in technology that are transforming the financial system will allow central banks to enhance the execution of various of their core functions, such as currency issuance and payment systems. But some aspects of fintech pose major challenges. Central banks have always been at the cutting edge of financial technology and innovation. In the past, the invention of the banknote, the processing of payments through debits and credits in book-entry accounts, and the successive transitions of interbank payment systems from the telegraph to internet protocols were all transformative innovations. Today, central banks are facing new and unprecedented challenges: distributed ledger technology, new data analytics (artificial intelligence [AI] and machine learning), and cloud computing, along with a wider spread of mobile access and increased internet speed and bandwidth. The purpose of this note is to discuss the authors’ preliminary views on how, from a legal perspective, central banks can best deal with the impact of fintech on their governance. These preliminary views are based on a review of central banks’ reaction thus far to the challenges posed by fintech to the legal foundations of their governance.
Julia Bersch, Jean François Clevy, Naseem Muhammad, Mrs. Esther Perez Ruiz, and Mr. Yorbol Yakhshilikov
This paper analyzes the potential for fintech to facilitate cheaper and more efficient remittances, and to enhance financial inclusion in Central America. Digital remittances remain nascent in the region, primarily reflecting behavioral inertia, small cost advantages of digital over traditional channels, and inadequate financial literacy. Through expanded alliances between traditional and fintech operators, digital remittances can further reduce transaction costs and reach those remote, low-income households in a timely and secure manner. A meaningful expansion of fintech remittances necessitates an enabling regulatory environment for digital financial services, and KYC and AML/CFT requirements proportionate to the value of transfers.
Purva Khera, Miss Stephanie Y Ng, Ms. Sumiko Ogawa, and Ms. Ratna Sahay
Digital financial services have been a key driver of financial inclusion in recent years. While there is evidence that financial inclusion through traditional services has a positive impact on economic growth, do the same results carry over for digital financial inclusion? What drives digital financial inclusion? Why does it advance more in some countries but not in others? Using new indices of financial inclusion developed in Khera et. al. (2021), this paper addresses these questions for 52 developing countries. Using cross-sectional instrument variable procedure, we find that the exogenous component of digital financial inclusion is positively associated with growth in GDP per capita during 2011-2018, which suggests that digital financial inclusion can accelerate economic growth. Fractional logit and random effects empirical estimation identifies access to infrastructure, financial and digital literacy, and quality of institutions as key drivers of digital financial inclusion. These findings are then used to help inform policy recommendations in areas related to the digitization of financial services to promote financial inclusion.
Jose M Garrido, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Amira Rasekh, and Anjum Rosha
The Directive on Restructuring and Insolvency sets minimum standards for restructuring and certain insolvency matters, but its harmonization effect will be limited given multiple options for implementation, likely leading to divergent restructuring models in Europe. These options reveal different policy approaches to the regulation of restructuring and insolvency. The analysis in this paper aims to illustrate the breadth of the policy choices and their consequences for restructuring activity. States should carefully design restructuring procedures to avoid the negative economic effects of certain options that could undermine creditors’ rights or result in unpredictable outcomes, particularly in cross-border cases.
Mizuho Kida and Simon Paetzold
The Financial Action Task Force’s gray list publicly identifies countries with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes (i.e., in their policies to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism). How much gray-listing affects a country’s capital flows is of interest to policy makers, investors, and the Fund. This paper estimates the magnitude of the effect using an inferential machine learning technique. It finds that gray-listing results in a large and statistically significant reduction in capital inflows.
Elizabeth Gavin
This note outlines the interest of Revenue Administrations (RAs) and National Statistical Offices (NSOs) in the quality of data at their disposal, and how collaboration between these organizations can contribute to improving data quality. The similarities between the data collection and processing steps in revenue administration and in the production of economic statistics underlie meaningful information and data sharing. Mutually beneficial collaboration between RAs and NSOs can be achieved, particularly in efforts to improve the coverage of registers and to update register information; classify economic activity; and analyze joint data to address data shortcomings. Since there are differences in concepts and definitions used in revenue administration and official statistics, dialogue is necessary to ensure the effective use of data from the partner organization. Collaboration can improve the quality of data available to both institutions: for RAs, this can assist in realizing improved taxpayer compliance and revenue mobilization, and for NSOs, tax-administrative data sources may enable expanded coverage of the economy in official statistics and reduce timeframes required for publishing economic time series and national accounts. Together, these outcomes can enhance the policy formulation, planning, and service delivery capability of governments. To that end, this note delineates concrete steps to engender sustainable and meaningful interchange of information and data between the RA and NSO.
Mr. Ashraf Khan and Majid Malaika
Based on technical assistance to central banks by the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department and Information Technology Department, this paper examines fintech and the related area of cybersecurity from the perspective of central bank risk management. The paper draws on findings from the IMF Article IV Database, selected FSAP and country cases, and gives examples of central bank risks related to fintech and cybersecurity. The paper highlights that fintech- and cybersecurity-related risks for central banks should be addressed by operationalizing sound internal risk management by establishing and strengthening an integrated risk management approach throughout the organization, including a dedicated risk management unit, ongoing sensitizing and training of Board members and staff, clear reporting lines, assessing cyber resilience and security posture, and tying risk management into strategic planning.. Given the fast-evolving nature of such risks, central banks could make use of timely and regular inputs from external experts.
Jose Deodoro, Mr. Michael Gorbanyov, Majid Malaika, and Tahsin Saadi Sedik
The era of quantum computing is about to begin, with profound implications for the global economy and the financial system. Rapid development of quantum computing brings both benefits and risks. Quantum computers can revolutionize industries and fields that require significant computing power, including modeling financial markets, designing new effective medicines and vaccines, and empowering artificial intelligence, as well as creating a new and secure way of communication (quantum Internet). But they would also crack many of the current encryption algorithms and threaten financial stability by compromising the security of mobile banking, e-commerce, fintech, digital currencies, and Internet information exchange. While the work on quantum-safe encryption is still in progress, financial institutions should take steps now to prepare for the cryptographic transition, by assessing future and retroactive risks from quantum computers, taking an inventory of their cryptographic algorithms (especially public keys), and building cryptographic agility to improve the overall cybersecurity resilience.
Frank Adelmann, Ms. Jennifer A. Elliott, Ibrahim Ergen, Tamas Gaidosch, Nigel Jenkinson, Mr. Tanai Khiaonarong, Anastasiia Morozova, Nadine Schwarz, and Christopher Wilson
The ability of attackers to undermine, disrupt and disable information and communication technology systems used by financial institutions is a threat to financial stability and one that requires additional attention.