This webinar explores the new report, “People’s Money: Harnessing Digitalization to Finance a Sustainable Future”, by the UN Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Finance. The report sets out an ambitious, practical Action Agenda. Centrally, it spells out how digital finance can be harnessed in ways that empower citizens as tax-payers and investors in envisaging a digital transformation at scale that better aligns people’s money with their needs, collectively expressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report highlights how billions of people around the world are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic using digital tools to work, spend and socialize. It argues there is an historic opportunity to harness digitalization in placing citizens, the ultimate owners of the world’s financial resources, in control of finance to ensure that it meets their needs, today and in the future. The webinar is led by Simon Zadek, Secretariat of the UN Secretary General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs.
We need better digital infrastructure, enhanced capabilities and universal access. Defences are needed to ensure against cyber vulnerability, fraud, illicit financial flows and algorithms than can discriminate. Digitalisation needs to enhance the alignment of finance with SDGs. Realising the solutions, overcoming barriers and militating risks requires concerted action by many different actors including policy makers and financial regulators, financial institutions in the market including fintech and development institutions operating at both national and international levels, standard makers, experts and civil society.
There are five catalytic opportunities identified in the report:
- Channel domestic savings into development financing – the global savings pool is UD $23.3 trillion
- Enhance financing for SMEs using automation – US $5.2 trillion need for SME financing in developing countries
- Digitise public finance and make public budgets and contracts transparent – US $320 billion annual savings in developing countries
- Embed SDGs into decisions by financial and capital markets – value of global equity and bond markets is US $185 trillion
- Shape consumer decisions by providing improved information – annual global consumption expenditure US $47 trillion
The report also identified an action agenda for the digital finance ecosystem to harness digitalisation in advancing a citizen-centric financial system. As well as the catalytic opportunities, we also need to work together to create a sustainable digital ecosystem and create inclusive international governance. Next steps are to create a roadmap and to support institutions to take-up actions based on their role in the ecosystem. We encourage you all to play your part in this agenda.