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IFC’s DigiLab to Drive Digital Transformation of Financial Services in Europe and Central Asia

Vienna, Austria, April 28, 2021—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is supporting the digital transformation of financial institutions across Europe and Central Asia. After launching its DigiLab Finance program in the Western Balkans and Georgia late last year, it is now expanding to new markets in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine, a move that is expected to boost local businesses and promote financial inclusion.

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Like many other sectors, banking faces constant pressure to innovate in the face of swift technological, environmental, and social change. These shifts affect the way people engage with banks and access money. DigiLab Finance, which equips selected financial institutions with practical knowledge and tools to develop digital strategies and actionable roadmaps, uses a unique methodology that focuses on a client-centric approach.

"To meet the demands of a rapidly changing sector, banks need to align their business strategies with customer expectations and new digital trends. This will help banks be more efficient and provide targeted services at a lower cost while developing more personalized interactions that inspire confidence and trust," said Vittorio Di Bello, IFC's Regional Head of Industry for Financial Institutions in Europe and Central Asia. "At IFC, we believe that digital transformation is much more fundamental than selective technological improvements."

DigiLab Finance shows that digital transformation requires major cultural and mental shifts on an institutional level. It needs the full alignment of vision and actions among financial institutions' senior management, operational teams, and front offices to better perform and connect with customers. The program in Europe and Central Asia is designed and delivered jointly with Accenture that leverages global knowledge and local experience. The initiative is implemented in partnership with the governments of Japan and the United Kingdom.

IFC first introduced DigiLab Finance in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and in Europe and Central Asia in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. Since then, 23 financial institutions in these regions have implemented new organization or business structures, launched projects to design and deploy a new culture that fosters digital transformation, and already executed or are exploring partnerships with fintechs or other technology providers they met during the DigiLab Finance program.

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Accenture Development Partnerships

Accenture Development Partnerships' delivers the power of Accenture's Global capabilities and experience to address complex social, environmental and economic issues positively impacting the lives of people in the developing word. Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing an extensive range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology and strategy to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 505,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture delivers on the promise of technology and human ingenuity. For more information, visit www.accenture.com.

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