Dutch Queen Launches New Regulatory Knowledge-Sharing Platform

December 6, 2022
With backing from the UN, the UK government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Queen Máxima and colleagues are fashioning a global network for regulatory expertise through the University of Cambridge.

With backing from the UN, the UK government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Queen Máxima and colleagues are fashioning a global network for regulatory expertise through the University of Cambridge.

The Netherlands’ Queen Máxima has launched a new knowledge-sharing platform for financial regulators, in an effort to promote international coordination on digital finance issues.

The Regulator Knowledge Exchange (RKE) platform is backed by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the University of Cambridge and by the United Nations (UN) through Queen Máxima.

Since 2009, Queen Máxima has served as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).

“Over the last decade, I’ve witnessed the remarkable progress that digital financial services and digital public infrastructure can bring,” said Queen Máxima during a speech to market the launch.

“Yet to reach the next level, more work is needed.”

Quoting World Bank Findex data, Queen Máxima said that, since 2011, a quarter of the world’s adult population has gained access to financial services and three quarters of adults globally are now “financially included”.

However, UN data also shows that three out of five mobile money accounts are “inactive or dormant”, and the use of savings, borrowing and insurance via mobile platforms remains limited.

“For these services to be truly impactful, they should meet customers’ needs, actively help build their financial health and enable them to seize economic opportunities,” said Queen Máxima.

Elsewhere in her speech, Queen Máxima went on to highlight the work of fintechs in developing countries that have helped to bring financial services to small businesses and the unbanked.

ShopUp in Bangladesh, Flutterwave in Nigeria and Bazaar in Pakistan were mentioned by name as helping entrepreneurs to digitise their inventory management, marketing, payments, credit and sales processes.

“This has helped small businesses expand far beyond their brick-and-mortar origins and connect to a much wider world,” she said.

“But these innovations require new regulatory tools, both to foster positive outcomes and to address risks — such as cyberattacks, privacy breaches, bigtech domination and algorithm bias.

“Many countries lack the resources and skills to assess and balance the risks and opportunities. That is why the work of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is so valuable.”

Focus on nurturing innovation

Queen Máxima said that one of the exchange’s priorities will be nurturing innovation in areas such as digital ID using a regulatory sandbox approach.

“Regulators need to be open to innovation,” she said, “and there are a range of options to do this, depending on experience and resources.

“While improving the regulatory environment is crucial, for digital finance to thrive, we also need supportive policies and infrastructure.”

Alongside digital ID, Queen Máxima said that fair competition frameworks and interoperable payment systems will help increase access to financial services for individuals and businesses.

She added that cybersecurity, data governance and digital literacy can help protect marginalised communities who are becoming banked and using digital financial services for the first time.

“So let us share this knowledge, and working alongside international institutions, go the extra mile,” she said.

“Together, we have a unique opportunity to build an inclusive digital financial sector, with the real power to improve people’s lives.”

Background to Regulator Knowledge Exchange

In February, the Regulator Knowledge Exchange launched as a pilot scheme, having spun off from a course that Cambridge University was teaching, and continues to teach, on fintech and regulatory innovation.

At the launch of the pilot scheme, the Regulator Knowledge Exchange was described as a “trusted digital platform” for regulators to collaborate and coordinate more closely.

“The platform is envisaged to facilitate peer-learning, knowledge exchange, policy transfer, and collective problem-solving among the global regulatory community on key issues,” its founders said in a statement.

The pilot was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a new ministry formed in 2020 following the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DFID).

As explained during the pilot launch, the Regulator Knowledge Exchange was initially created to support the growing alumni community of the Cambridge FinTech and Regulatory Innovation Programme (CFTRI).

“Peer-learning and knowledge exchange are hallmarks of the CFTRI, which aims to increase the capacity of financial regulators and supervisors to regulate fintech activities and more effectively develop regulatory innovation initiatives,” it said.

“The Regulator Knowledge Exchange is an extension of the classroom and provides a trusted and user-friendly digital platform for regulators to learn, discuss, engage, collaborate and coordinate.”

When the pilot was announced in February, the CCAF said it already had more than 600 regulators in 90 jurisdictions who had signed up to take part.

“Regulators are facing common challenges in their response to the speed at which fintech is developing and its increasing complexity,” said Dr Robert Wardrop, director and co-founder of the CCAF.

“The support provided by the Gates Foundation enables us to take the RKE to the next stage of development and to widen its reach to help regulators, particularly in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs), to keep pace with, and take advantage of, technological innovation.”

Since its launch in 2019, the CFTRI has since trained more than 1,200 financial regulators and central bankers from more than 300 regulatory authorities in over 140 jurisdictions.

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.
No items found.