Fintech and the IMF

Emerging technologies, from artificial intelligence to distributed ledgers, are transforming the financial services landscape, creating opportunities as well as challenges for consumers, service providers and regulators alike. These technologies could drive substantial efficiency gains in the financial sector, including in the areas of payments, financing, investments, asset management and insurance. However, they could also pose risks to the stability and integrity of the financial system, in particular where they operate outside of the purview of financial regulation and supervision. 
Recognizing these potential benefits and risks, the IMF has been closely monitoring developments in the field of finance and technology (“Fintech”). 
This page is dedicated to gathering the various strands of work by IMF staff research on the implications of emerging technologies for financial stability, regulation, and monetary policy. In line with its mandate, the IMF will continue to foster international cooperation among different stakeholders on effective responses to developments in Fintech.

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Staff Discussion Notes

Staff Discussion Notes showcase the latest policy-related analysis and research being developed by individual IMF staff and are published to elicit comment and to further debate. These papers are generally brief and written in nontechnical language, and so are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues.

Recent Fintech Staff Discussion Notes (SDNs):

Virtual Currencies and Beyond: Initial Considerations, January, 2016

Fintech and Financial Services: Initial ConsiderationsJune, 2017

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Law and Financial Stability: The Rule of Law in a Digital World

 The Legal Department held its biennial high-level seminar on Law and Financial Stability at the IMF headquarters. The overarching theme of this seminar was FinTech and the impact of technology, from a legal perspective, on financial systems. The seminar considered various legal issues related to Fintech in different areas of the financial sector, such as central banking, financial regulation, financial market infrastructures, as well as anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). It examined the impact of Fintech on the legal principles that govern the domains of public and private law. View the conference page.

FinTech Exchange: Beyond the Hype - a New Reality

Launched at the 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group, the FinTech Exchange, under the theme of “Beyond the Hype – A New Reality,” focused on real-life applications, challenges and opportunities of new financial technologies. These are explored in a series of interactive workshops on specific topics. View the sessions below. More information on the sessions is available here

    Fintech: Challenges to Regulation and Central Banking

    How much of Fintech is hype and how much is reality, and how should policy and regulation respond to this fast-changing industry? This seminar will consider how the financial services landscape may be transformed by the widespread adoption of financial technology and how central banks and regulators can mitigate potential risks to financial stability and integrity without stifling innovation.

    Central Banking and Fintech: A Brave New World?
    The IMF's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, discussed Fintech and central banking at the Bank of England Conference. Watch the video below, or read the speech.

    A Conversation on Fintech

    The IMF's David Pedroza and Tommaso Mancini Griffoli discuss financial technologies in a Facebook Live event. 

    IMF Seminar: Fintech and the Transformation of Financial Services

    Emerging technologies in the financial sector (“FinTech”) are driving transformational change in the provision of financial services in such areas as payments, financing, investments, financial information and advice, and asset management. These developments bring both opportunities and risks. The session will take the form of a roundtable discussion among experts on FinTech issues from the public and private sectors and academia, who will be asked to respond to a series of specific questions on how new technologies can disrupt the nature and provision of financial services and the implications that these changes may have for financial stability and regulation. Learn more.

    IMF Seminar: Driving Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa

     This session analyzes the promises and challenges of advancing digital financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa. Our speaker will focus on his entrepreneurial experiences in the financial services industry, and subsequent discussion will explore how both the public and private sectors can leverage technological innovation in this field—in Africa and beyond. Learn more.