With fintech industry gaining traction across the globe at lightning speed, a Qatar Financial Centre (QFC)-membered working group has unveiled a seven-point global policy agenda, which includes enhanced cybersecurity, sovereign support and greater co-operation between banks and fintechs.
The draft recommendations were disclosed by the QFC Authority chief executive Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, who is one of the members of the working group of the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) to suggest ways to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. The detailed report is being finalised.
The WAIFC members issued a joint declaration in May 2020, exhibiting their collective commitment to seeking ways to mitigate the outcomes of the pandemic and formed joint international working groups to study the impact of the pandemic.
The four working groups comprise experts from WAIFC members to look into the areas of national economies, including sustainable finance; small and medium enterprises finance; and regulations and fintech innovation; for suggesting measures to ignite a lasting and resilient global economic recovery.
Stressing on the need for regulations embracing digital transformation and sector wide cybersecurity; al-Jaida told a panel session at the WAIFC annual general meeting that the countries globally should fast establish a legal framework facilitating digitalisation of financial services.
This suggestion comes in the wake of the need for the global regulations to stay ahead of the curve through robust framework, which includes according top priority for cybersecurity.
The QFC official highlighted that one of the main challenges ahead for the fintechs are navigating the difficult investment environment. On the issue of liquidity crisis for the fintech companies, it was suggested to expand the spectrum of funding opportunities.
"Governments should support short-term financial needs of existing fintech start-ups," he said, quoting the draft agenda. This move comes in the wake of limited access to funding for some early-stage ventures.
Highlighting that fintech subsectors are gaining momentum across the world, he said payments and remittance as well as e-commerce are getting a boost; digital and open banking is on the rise; Regtech is being taken as the best business continuity decision and the appetite for crypto-currencies is growing.
On the fintech policy recommendations, the draft agenda recommended enhancing collaboration between traditional banks and fintechs to seize the growth opportunities.
"The reduced competition among traditional incumbents and fintechs is a key to overcoming the challenges faced by the financial industry," al-Jaida said.
The WAIFC policy recommendations suggested building a "solid" digital infrastructure to facilitate financial inclusion.
"To tap the high potential of financial innovation in the post Covid-19 era, a solid IT infrastructure is crucial for a more inclusive economic recovery," he said.
On the need for developing global partnerships and linkages for the knowledge transfer; the report said it has become an ever more important component in the economic recovery.
The WAIFC draft recommendations also suggested connecting global digital identity solutions.
"Strong, trustworthy digital identities promote safety – both from a physical, perspective, by allowing people to stay apart from each other, and from a digital perspective, by facilitating user identification," it said.
Stressing that the development of digital financial literacy skills is pivotal, the WAIFC recommendations said digital financial literacy is set to become an increasingly important aspect of education for the digital age of tomorrow.