WOCCU Digital Financial Inclusion Highlighted at Global Summit
Marquee FinTech event in London features World Council among host of innovators
April 30, 2019
MADISON, Wis.—World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) and the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions’ (ACCU) interoperable payment initiative connecting credit unions across Asia figured prominently into a discussion about digital financial services at the Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS) 2019 in London.
The Innovate Finance Global Summit is an annual event that explores the latest innovations in the financial technology (FinTech) sector and attracts dozens of experts from across the world to serve as speakers and panelists. The theme of IFGS 2019 was the value and purpose FinTech has to society.
Presenting one of the three FinTech pilot programs featured in the “Architects of the Age of Interoperability” panel discussion, WOCCU Director of Financial Inclusion Megan O’Donnell shared her insights on how interoperability between digital financial services can be a key tool in delivering needed financial services to the under-banked.
O’Donnell oversees WOCCU’s Interoperable Digital Financial Services for Credit Unions project, recently launched in the Philippines and Indonesia. Utilizing a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project is in the exploratory design phase—assembling a team of international experts to design an interoperable, open-loop, low-cost, real-time payment platform with the goal of connecting 40 million credit union members to digital financial tools. The goal is to create a system that can eventually be expanded across Asia.
The panel discussion also featured Sadamoudou Kaba of Mowali—which will offer interoperability to mobile money providers across 22 Sub-Saharan African markets—and Juliet Kiluwa from Financial Sector Deepening Trust, a partner in the recent effort to update the national scheme for cross-platform instant payments in Tanzania. The discussion was moderated by Kosta Peric, Deputy Director of the Financial Services for the Poor program at the Gates Foundation.
“Digital financial inclusion is moving from the conceptual phase to implementation and World Council of Credit Unions is at the forefront of that movement. Being included in a discussion about the future of interoperability at a prestigious event like IFGS 2019 offered WOCCU a great opportunity to inform people about our work in the Philippines and Indonesia—and our goals moving forward,” said O’Donnell.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 85,400 credit unions in 118 countries serve 274 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.