Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220901)

Reimagining Money in the Age of Crypto and Central Bank Digital Currency

The future of money is undoubtedly digital, and in the latest issue of the IMF’s Finance & Development some of the world’s leading experts explore what it will look like? It includes my article about offline central bank digital currency (CBDC). [Read more at the IMF]

The Financial Stability Implications of Digital Assets

The US Fed published a paper that explores whether the digital financial system creates new potential challenges to financial stability. It describes emerging vulnerabilities that could present risks to financial stability in the future if the digital asset ecosystem becomes more systemic, including: run risks among large stablecoins, valuation pressures in crypto-assets, fragilities of decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, growing interconnectedness, and a general lack of regulation. [Read more at the Fed]

Asia Far Ahead in Mobile Payment Adoption

WorldPay data from FIS has found that the Asia-Pacific region reached a much higher market share of mobile payments than other parts of the world (see above graphic). 44% of the transactions made at point of sale (POS) were carried out with a mobile phone instead of a debit/credit card or cash and 69% of online shop payments were completed on a mobile device. According to Global management consulting firm McKinsey, Southeast Asia has become a “wallet-first region.” Africa had the second highest share of POS mobile payments, at 12%, while Europe only saw 8% of POS transactions carried out on mobile. [Read more at Statista]

SAMA Updates Its Regulatory Sandbox Framework to Drive Innovation

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) updated its Regulatory Sandbox framework as part of its efforts to achieve the national strategic goals in the Saudi Vision 2030 Financial Sector Development Programme. The updated framework will also support the objectives of the fintech strategy and contribute to the economic empowerment of the Saudi society and its citizens by promoting further Fintech innovations. [Read more at the SAMA]

Bigtechs vs Banks

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a paper that analyses an economy in which large technology companies, Bigtechs, provide credit to firms operating on their platforms. It focuses on two advantages that Bigtechs have with respect to banks: better information on their clients and better enforcement of credit repayment since big techs can exclude a defaulting firm from their ecosystem. While Bigtechs have both superior enforcement and complete and private information of the firm type Bigtechs can encroach on banks’ turf only if they guarantee some privacy to firms by tempering their drive to collect information about firm characteristics and leaving some rents to them. The way Bigtechs share information i.e. by providing information publicly or in a private way entails different outcomes in terms of efficiency. [Read more at the BIS]

Should we trust the credit decisions provided by machine learning models?

An article by a couple of Banco de España economists proposes a framework to assess how reliable machine learning (ML) technology is to credit assessments. It is based on generating datasets intended to resemble typical credit settings, in which the relationship between the variables is defined. It uses non-interpretable ML models on these generated datasets, and explain their results using two popular interpretability techniques. It then calculates to what extent the explanations given by the interpretability techniques match the underlying truth.  [Read more at SUERF]

Discounted tickets available for CBDC Think Tank masterclass

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with the International Monetary Fund and George Washington University, is hosting a full-day in-person CBDC Masterclass on October 12 in Washington DC. The sessions are designed as instructional deep dives with full presentations and Q&A components.  Ticket prices are as low as $99 and you can save 30% by entering KIFFMEISTER where the registration page asks for a discount code. [Register here]

Also, the CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with Georgetown University and the DC FinTech Week, is hosting a FREE Digital Currency Lecture Series, a set of digital currency lightning talks delivered by subject matter experts, on October 14 in Washington DC. [Request an invite here]

Kiffmeister’s Global Central Bank Digital Currency Monthly Monitor

Just a reminder that I produce a monthly digest of central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments exclusively for the official sector. So for any of you out there who work for a central bank, ministry of finance or international financial institution who would like to receive it by email on the first business day of every month, please DM me on LinkedIn or email me at