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IFC Helps Promote Cashless Payment Systems in Europe and Central Asia

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, December 7, 2018 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in cooperation with the National Bank of Tajikistan, is hosting a regional forum to help the countries of the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe promote cashless payments for greater financial inclusion, a critical step in achieving inclusive economic growth.
The two-day event, titled Heading Towards a Cashless Economy: Innovations, Infrastructure, Inclusion, will bring together over 250 executives from central banks, financial institutions, payment service providers, and technology companies from more than 15 countries. They will discuss trends in the use of electronic payment solutions and explore how those can drive financial inclusion.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan Jamshed Nurmahmadzoda noted: "The introduction of modern digital technologies to the financial sector is happening quickly. Effective e-payment systems are a key part of a stable and responsive banking system and of the country's economy."
Cassandra Colbert, IFC Regional Manager for Central Asia, said: “The global financial system is poised for unprecedented innovation. But technological progress alone cannot fuel financial inclusion. Moreover, it cannot be achieved through the effort of one party alone. To sustain the efforts of the growing private sector and to extend the reach to the wider population, it takes efforts from multiple players. It is therefore up to us in how we drive the next step forward.”
Supporting responsible and inclusive digital financial services is an important part of IFC’s strategy in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. IFC has worked to help businesses and individuals harness the benefits of digital financial services, focusing on areas like payments, lending and other financial services.
The conference is being organized by IFC’s Electronic and Digital Financial Services Project implemented in Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan. The project, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland, is a part of the joint IFC-World Bank Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice.
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