AFIN will facilitate innovation and collaboration between financial institutions and FinTechs. An emphasis will be placed on supporting financial inclusion. AFIN will support this through a collaborative network of banks, FinTechs and non-banks in which participants can develop common approaches to business, regulatory, and technical challenges, and through an “industry sandbox” in which participants can integrate and test applications with each other via a cloud based architecture. It is intended that this infrastructure may evolve towards a cloud-based market place or industry utility through which financial institutions can run operational FinTech applications beyond the testing phase.
Financial Services Development
AFIN will aim in the near term to lead to an expansion in access to and usage of financial services, with the specific goals to
- Facilitate access by banks to a broader range of competitive (fintech) solutions to match bank’s opportunities and challenges
- Accelerate business and product development through use of efficient testing, design and integration tools for both banks and FinTechs,
- Support adoption and convergence or standardization of APIs, digitization and qualitative improvements to bank’s and their client’s business processes and operations,
- Support development of IT architecture strategy and management skills within individual financial institutions.
The overall success of AFIN will be defined in terms of the number of clients (businesses, consumers, others) to which participating financial institutions successfully expand access and / or usage of banking or related financial and non-financial services due to AFIN’s support and infrastructure.
Overall AFIN will contribute to broader efforts to support financial market development and integration. It will seek to generate insights that can inform policy makers’ and industry bodies’ efforts to enhance regional and international integration and trade in FinTech services. It is hoped that practical lessons will also be generated for policy makers and regulators , to inform their agenda to adapt regulation, compliance mechanisms and supervisory practices to emerging FinTech services and business models.
In developing the industry sandbox, AFIN will contribute to the design of a ‘service platform architecture’ and to harmonization of API standards within domestic and cross- border environments, thereby promoting interoperability and scalable infrastructure and accelerating adoption. This architecture will enable users to potentially host or use pass through facilities for testing and operation of APIs, but allowing them also to withdraw without impact on operational continuity.