Big Tech and the Future of Finance

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DATE: October 16, 2019

DAY: Wednesday

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

LOCATION: IMF HQ1 Atrium (HQ1-1-700)

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Moderator Elizabeth Schulze of CNBCi gives us the key take-aways from this IMF seminar.  


Big Tech are entering Fintech. They bring technology, deep pockets, massive networks, mountains of data, and great user experiences. But also risks. Can they reshape banking and finance? We ask Big Tech, banks, and regulators to look into the future.

Join the conversation via #NewEcon #Fintech

Big Tech and the Future of Finance

Key points

The entry of large technology firms, “Big Tech”, into financial services could deliver significant efficiency gains and enhance financial inclusion. At the same time, regulators need to consider and mitigate the risks that may come with such new entrants. Panelists discussed the complex trade-offs, including financial stability and inclusion, competition, and data protection.

  • Benefits of Fintech. Panelists agreed that the current financial system needed to evolve. They highlighted that financial service consumers, across both developing and advanced economies, face significant costs and inefficiencies, as well as other limitations to accessing finance. Marcus stated that at present 1.7 billion did not have access to digital finance. Commenting on the experience in India with national digital financial inclusion programs, Nilekani noted that such programs had enabled the creation of 330 million new accounts over a short time period.
  • Role of Big Tech. Panelists recognized the potential role of Big Tech in driving important change in the financial services industry, including through its ability to scale basic financial services at a low cost. Carney noted that global digital currencies, like the proposed Libra, may assist in de-dollarizing the global financial system, while also recognizing the potential volatility that could be created for domestic currencies. Panelists also noted the risks that new entrants may bring, including reduced competition, given Big Tech’s already established large customer bases, as well as financial stability, consumer protection, and data privacy concerns.
  • Policies. Panelists emphasized the need to ensure that consumers could fully benefit from the technologies, including through the interoperability of Big Tech financial services.  In particular, Furman noted it was important that policymakers take action to avoid the build-of market concentration. Carney stated that it was imperative for central banks to play a central role in the digital financial system, while keeping up with innovations.  In his opening remarks, Lipton highlighted the Bail Fintech Agenda and Fund’s efforts in assisting policymakers in thinking through the challenges and opportunities of fintech.


Opening Remarks: David Lipton

David Lipton David Lipton assumed the position of First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund on September 1, 2011. On March 28, 2016, he was reappointed for a second five-year term beginning September 1, 2016. Before coming to the Fund, Mr. Lipton was Special Assistant to the President, and served as Senior Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Economic Council and National Security Council at the White House. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Citi, and also served in the Clinton administration as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs — and before that as Assistant Secretary. Mr. Lipton earned a Ph.D. and M.A. from Harvard University in 1982 and a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1975.

Moderator: Elizabeth Schulze

Elizabeth Schulze Elizabeth Schulze is a correspondent covering technology at CNBC International. Elizabeth regularly covers and breaks global tech news live on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” and “Worldwide Exchange” programs. Her original reporting on the intersection of technology, finance and policy has attracted attention from global policymakers and the world’s biggest technology companies.

Panelist: Mark Carney

Mark Carney

Mark Carney is the Governor of the Bank of England and Chair of the Monetary Policy Committee, Financial Policy Committee and the Prudential Regulation Committee. His appointment as Governor was approved by Her Majesty the Queen on 26 November 2012. The Governor joined the Bank on 1 July 2013.

In addition to his duties as Governor of the Bank of England, he serves as First Vice-Chair of the European Systemic Risk Board, a member of the Group of Thirty and the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum.

Mark Carney was born in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, Canada in 1965. He received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University in 1988. He went on to receive a master’s degree in Economics in 1993 and a doctorate in Economics in 1995, both from Oxford University.

After a thirteen-year career with Goldman Sachs in its London, Tokyo, New York and Toronto offices, Mark Carney was appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada in August 2003. In November 2004, he left the Bank of Canada to become Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Finance. He held this position until his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Canada on 1 February 2008. Mark Carney served as Governor of the Bank of Canada and Chairman of its Board of Directors until 1 June 2013.

Panelist: Jason Furman

Jason Furman Jason Furman is Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). He is also nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. This followed eight years as a top economic adviser to President Obama, including serving as the 28th Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers from August 2013 to January 2017. Furman was the chair of the UK government's Digital Competition Expert Panel.

Panelist: David Marcus

David Marcus David is the Head of Calibra. Previously, he was the VP of Messaging Products at Facebook. David joined Facebook in 2014 from PayPal, where he spent the previous two years as the company’s President and previously as VP of Mobile, leading it's mobile products and business.

Panelist: Nandan Nilekani

Nandan Nilekani Nandan Nilekani is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited. He was the Founding Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the rank of a Cabinet Minister from 2009-2014. Most recently, Nandan has co-founded andis the Chairman of EkStep, a not-for-profit effort to create a learner centric, technology based platform to improve basic literacy and numeracy for millions of children.