Viewpoint: How the digital finance revolution can drive sustainable development

Friday, January 18, 2019

By Maria Ramos

This week in Davos brings together leading thinkers on a range of topics of global significance, including two not often mentioned in the same breath: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the digitalization of the world’s financial systems. A new task force convened by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will consider how these two topics might best intersect: how the digital revolution in financing could be shaped not only to minimise potential harms, but in ways that could help advance the SDGs’ inspiring vision.

The digital revolution has transformed the world’s financial systems. This is true not only for the customer experience (how hundreds of millions of people now manage their financial lives), but for the system at every level: how financial institutions manage their operations, how investors analyze risk and make decisions, how capital markets move, and how policymakers approach their work. To be sure, digitalization has affected every area of life, not just financing. The rate of acceleration is staggering: to take just one oft-cited statistic, 90% of the data in existence today was created in the past two years.

Photo courtesy of Ismael Ferdous.

Source: World Economic Forum (link opens in a new window)

development finance, digital finance, fintech, global development, SDGs