Home Policy & Governance Pioneering public authorities’ innovative uses of fintech augur well for 2024

Pioneering public authorities’ innovative uses of fintech augur well for 2024

New year, new opportunities: the Global Government Fintech team (pictured top left on 18 May 2023 at the second Global Government Fintech Lab in Dublin) and Global Government Fintech Lab 2023 attendees | Credit: Johnny Berg; Pixabay

Public authorities – including central and local government, government agencies, regulators and central banks – pushed the boundaries of innovation with financial technology during 2023. Ian Hall is looking forward to further exciting developments in 2024

The issuance of tokenised government bonds. The acceptance of payments using open banking technology and cryptocurrencies. The exploration of novel use cases for blockchain and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Just some of the fields in which public sector authorities around the world were innovating during the past 12 months – and where we can expect more examples to emerge.

In the above areas alone, Global Government Fintech reported on breakthroughs during 2023 from Hong Kong (the issuance of a first tokenised ‘green’ bond) to the Philippines (first Treasury digitised bonds); from the UK (launch of a first public sector-wide ‘dynamic purchasing system’ for open banking procurement) to the Swiss city of Lugano (which has enabled citizens and companies to make any municipal payment using two of the world’s best-known cryptocurrencies); from the European Union, where a regulatory sandbox for projects with potential to become innovative use cases involving distributed-ledger technologies (DLT) has been launched by the European Commission, to CBDC projects from Jamaica to Brazil.

The size, scope and motivation of these investments, as well as the 100s of other projects across the world we have reported on during 2023, differ. But they individually combine to add momentum to ‘global government fintech’: public sector investment in financial technologies to improve operations or service delivery.  

Add in the pace of technological progress and public sector interest in further fintech-related areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), digital data and anti-fraud, and Global Government Fintech’s territory is increasingly fertile as 2024 dawns.

Dublin up on prospects

Global Government Fintech Lab 2023: minister Jennifer Carroll MacNeill pictured at our event, which was partnered by Ireland’s Department of Finance | Credit: Deirdre Brennan for Global Government Fintech

Ireland’s minister of state with responsibility for financial services captured this positive trajectory for ‘fintech for government’ at the Global Government Fintech Lab 2023, which was held in Dublin in May.

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, who took up her ministerial role in December 2022, championed the role that fintech “can play for governments in the future as we look to achieve our public policy goals” in her keynote speech. “Over five months since my appointment as minister in the department, I have come to realise just how important digital finance and fintech is for government policy and how the partnership with industry works in practice,” she said.

The one-day event, which was hosted by Ireland’s Department of Finance, attracted an international array of speakers to Ireland’s capital from nations including Azerbaijan, Bermuda, Croatia, Israel and Norway, as well as participants from Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica and New Zealand.

“I encourage us all to be ambitious with this [fintech] agenda, as the technological advances are opening more opportunities and at a pace that makes the discussion and collaboration between the public sector organisations lined up for today more important than ever. The opportunity set ahead of us is too much for any one [European Union] member state or country and more than enough for all of us and it is just the beginning,” Carroll MacNeill said.

Our 2023 Lab was taking place for the second time after the inaugural event brought global government pioneers together in Estonia’s capital city Tallinn in June 2022.

Lab number three on the way

The third Global Government Fintech Lab will return to Dublin on Thursday 25 April 2024. The agenda features keynotes and panel sessions focused on some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities for those working in government, agencies and other public authorities.

Payments technology, data and fighting fraud using technology are some of the topics to be discussed. Registration to attend in Dublin is now open (free for public servants).

Global Government Fintech also continues to explore hot topics through our webinar programme. During 2023 we organised online discussions examining CBDCs and financial inclusion; CBDCs and cybersecurity threats; blockchain bonds’ potential for the public sector; the potential of the metaverse (for the public sector); and how data and technology can combine to help governments beat fraudsters.

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Global Government Fintech launched almost three-and-a-half years ago as a dedicated sister publication to Global Government Forum.


To discuss commercial partnership opportunities with Global Government Fintech for 2024 and beyond, please contact Matt Hoare m.hoare@globalgovernmentforum.com


2023: TOP FIVE MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

1) UK government backs open banking with £100m-per-year supplier plan our news story (14 June 2023) on a public sector procurement development that recently progressed to its next stage (UK public sector open banking ‘dynamic purchasing system’ opens for business – 12 December 2023)

2) SupTech on the rise: financial supervisors explore innovative technology – a write-up of a panel session at our Global Government Fintech Lab 2023 featuring representatives from Norway, Croatia and Bermuda

3) Open goal for fintech: governments capitalise on open banking – a write-up of a panel session at our Global Government Fintech Lab 2023 featuring representatives from the UK’s HMRC and Azerbaijan’s State Treasury Agency

4) Co-ordinating collaboration: financial authorities lean into fintech – a write-up of a panel session at our Global Government Fintech Lab 2023 featuring representatives from the Central Bank of Ireland, Latvia’s central bank (Latvijas Banka) and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance

5) Blockchain bonds: digital issuance breakthroughs build buzz – a write-up of our webinar (23 March 2023) asking: ‘Blockchain-based bonds: what potential for the public sector?’