Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The implications of the IFC's call for a reform in payments systems for emerging markets

Finextra reported on an IFC report entitled:
"Financial Infrastructure: Building Access through Transparent and Stable Financial Systems" (read here). Unfortunately, I could not find the original report and my insights are thus based only on what has been written on the Finextra website.

It seems as if the report motivates that credit reporting, collateral registries and payment and securities systems should be reformed. This in turn would lead to a much wider reach of financial services (particularly MFI and Remittance services). This is intuitively true. Without effective control of and access to financial infrastructure, it would be impossible to grow the financial industry in emerging markets. If I understand the report correctly, I do believe that it is fundamentally flawed because it was written with a first world mindset.

It may surprise many observers, but settlement and reporting systems in developing economies are in many cases more effective, more real-time and modern than what is available in first world countries. The reason for this is that these systems could be implemented without consideration for old, entrenched systems (as is the case in first world countries). Also the dependencies on grants for many of these economies, necessitated better controls than what one usually find.

For emerging economies the challenges are more governments fiscal policies and integration into the slow, batch driven systems in first world countries that are the biggest hurdles to reform.

1 comment:

Emil Sjöblom said...

Here is the report that is being mentioned:
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/FINANCIALSECTOR/Resources/282044-1252596846652/FinancialInfrastructureReport.pdf