IFC’s Electronic and Digital Financial Services (EDFS) Project, funded by SECO and UK DFID, was launched in Uzbekistan in June 2019 supporting the development of conducive regulatory environment, institutional and sector level engagements to advance digital financial services in the region. As part of its broader sector level capacity building activity, IFC, jointly with the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, launched the Virtual Academy platform to help commercial banks of Uzbekistan shape their vision on digital development, acquire first-hand knowledge from industry practitioners and visionaries on how to harness modern technological advancements to support their cause of digital transformation.
Since June 2020, the Virtual Academy has provided an ideal platform to exchange insights, deliver the latest market intelligence and discuss trends in digital financial services for the commercial bank representatives from all across Uzbekistan. To date, the Academy has hosted over 15 weekly sessions featuring topics of digital banking, innovative customer due diligence, regulatory sandbox, new payment interfaces, fraud and security, and many others. These 2-3h-hour long webinars attended by over 1,000 banking professionals have been delivered by global digital finance experts, international fintech firms and leading companies helping local stakeholders deepen their understanding of current products and developments in digital finance.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has become a digital banking reality check both for governments as well as financial institutions in nascent digital economies, prompting traditional banks to adopt digital finance alternatives to address a growing demand in cashless transactions. IFC has been working to help businesses and individuals reap the benefits of digital financial services across the globe, focusing on areas such as payments, lending and other financial services.