Home Policy & Governance Our most popular 2021 stories revealed… looking forward to more in 2022

Our most popular 2021 stories revealed… looking forward to more in 2022

In a year that global governments’ interest and investment in fintech solutions has accelerated, we present our 'top 10' stories of the past 12 months | Credit: mohamed_hassan: Pixabay

Global governments’ interest and investment in fintech solutions has accelerated during the past year.

From public authorities’ explorations into the possibilities of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and encouragement of ‘green fintech’ through to the use of open banking to enable tax payments and artificial intelligence-led tools to tackle financial fraud, engagement with fintech’s possibilities is on an upward curve.

Global Government Fintech launched almost 16 months ago as a dedicated sister publication to Global Government Forum in recognition of this trend. Our aim is to appeal to experts across government authorities who are striving to transform and innovate in the fintech arena.

During 2021 our editorial team has authored sustained independent content and hosted webinars with speakers on topics including CBDCs, tax collection in the digital age and fintech’s ability to drive financial inclusion in the developing world.

“Public authorities across the world are increasingly looking to champion their fintech industries and encourage fintech solutions,” said Global Government Fintech editor Ian Hall. “Whether it’s governments buying fintech services, creating structures to encourage fintech or indeed regulating fintech, the spot where governments and fintech meet is increasingly sweet.”

“Our team is looking forward to building on the momentum during 2022,” said publisher Kevin Sorkin. “I’d like to thank commercial partners including Mastercard, AWS and IBM for their support. We will continue to highlight and analyse developments where ‘government meets fintech’ and aim to convene key players in a variety of ways in the year ahead.”

If you are interested to get involved, please contact our commercial department on info@globalgovernmentfintech.com.

We also encourage you to join our growing community on LinkedIn and Twitter – and to spread the word about our free weekly email newsletter.


Global Government Fintech’s coverage of the UK government’s use of open banking to improve its own operations has proved particularly popular: three of our most popular 10 stories during 2021 were reports and/or analysis of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)’s journey to (and through) engaging the services of a fintech company to enable the collection of tax payments in this way.

Our article ‘HMRC reaches milestone as £1bn in UK tax paid through open banking’ (29 September) reporting that at least £1 billion (about $1.32bn) in tax – via more than 500,000 individual payments in total – had been paid using open banking technology since it engaged the company (Ecospend) was our biggest hit.

Incidentally, it’s not just ourselves keeping an eye on the UK government’s decision to invest in fintech: HMRC was shortlisted in theBest Open Banking Initiative’ category at the Emerging Payments Awards (organised by the Emerging Payments Association in London a couple of months ago).

‘TOP 10 FOR 2021’

1st: ‘HMRC reaches milestone as £1bn in UK tax paid through open banking’ – our news story (29 September) on HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) hitting a significant open banking milestone as the UK government integrates fintech solutions into its own operations (see above and the 3rd– and 6th-ranked articles in this list).

2nd: ‘Singapore authority announces CBDC competition finalists’ – our article (1 September) on the 15 finalists for its ‘Global CBDC Challenge’, a Monetary Authority of Singapore-run competition to develop retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) solutions (the winners to were decided during the Singapore FinTech Festival in November).

3rd: ‘One small website button, one giant leap for payments to government’ – our analysis (6 April) of HMRC’s introduction of a ‘Pay by bank account’ option for people filing online self-assessment tax returns, with open banking’s advocates hailing the moment’s significance: an apparent global first for payments-to-government and open banking (see also the 1st– and 6th-ranked  articles in this list)

4th: ‘German banks set out vision for digital euro design’ – our news story (7 July) on Germany’s banking industry’s largest association (the German Banking Industry Committee – GBIC) presenting its vision for a potential digital euro’s design.

5th: ‘Scottish authority rolls out facial recognition tech for school-meal payments’ – our news story (19 October) on nine schools in North Ayrshire, a relatively rural Scottish region, introducing facial-recognition technology to enable pupils to pay for lunches: the move had attracted significant media interest, with the Guardian describing it as ‘as a significant step towards the normalisation of the use of facial recognition technology by public authorities’.

6th: ‘UK’s HMRC extends open banking to payroll payments’ – our news story (26 May) on HMRC going live with a further step in embedding open banking into its operations just weeks after introducing a ‘Pay by bank account’ option for people making online self-assessment tax returns (see the 1st– and 3rd-ranked articles in this list).

7th: ‘ECB eyes “cutting-edge” tech as it launches first SupTech procurement’ – our news story (18 January) on the European Central Bank (ECB)’s plans to significantly step up its investment in innovative technology, having kicked off its first ‘SupTech’-specific procurement with a planned spend of more than £200m (SupTech is shorthand for the use of innovative technology by supervisory agencies).

8th: ‘UK government publishes digital identity trust framework’ – our news story (17 February) on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)’s publication of draft rules for digital identities in the private sector (the ‘UK Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework’).

9th: ‘Scale-up funding and fast-track visas appeal to tech firms in UK Budget’ – our news story (3 March) on measures to help tech-based companies raise capital, as well as a commitment to enable non-UK citizens with a job offer from a ‘recognised’ UK scale-up to receive fast-track visas, being among commitments to catch the fintech sector’s eye in the UK government’s Budget.

10th: ‘Fintech hackathons turn attention to green finance’ – our news story (11 May) on two central bank-backed international fintech hackathons (the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub/Banca d’Italia ‘G20 TechSprint 2021’ and Monetary Authority of Singapore’s ‘Global FinTech Hackcelerator’) putting the focus on green finance as they invite the private sector to showcase innovative technology.