On June 10th, the White House hosted its first FinTech Summit to examine the changing landscape of financial services, illustrate the nexus between FinTech and Administration priorities, and discuss future policy development. Adrienne Harris, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, hosted the event. Specific panel sessions were chaired by Penny Pritzker, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Jason Furman, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors; and Gayle Smith, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development. Over 250 stakeholders also attended the event from financial institutions, start-ups, academia, and policymaking bodies.
PayPal’s VP of Corporate Affairs, Franz Paasche, participated in an afternoon panel entitled, “Filling the Gaps: FinTech’s Role in Financial Inclusion & Development”, moderated by Gayle Smith. Other panelists included Vikas Raj (Accion Venture Lab), Ryan Falvey (Center for Financial Services Innovation Financial Solutions Lab), Greta Bull (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), and Jo Ann Barefoot (Harvard Kennedy School). The goal of the panel was to discuss the millions of people globally that do not have access to basic financial services. The discussion highlighted innovations that promote access to identification required to participate in the financial system, relevant and safe products that are administered responsibly, as well as affordability and consumer choice for these products.
PayPal’s contribution focused on the ways that technology is working to address these issues for consumers, businesses and our society at large. The panel addressed the potential opportunity for FinTech to make a difference for the financial health of those underserved by the global financial system. In addition, opportunities created by the global flows of money and products through Cross-border digital payments system, like PayPal and Xoom, were discussed as ways to help families easily, quickly and affordably send remittances back home to relatives and friends, often in emerging countries. Small business lending was another area that was highlighted for its development opportunities. PayPal’s Working Capital program in particular was discussed as filling the gap in access to capital and credit for small business owners, which was left in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
PayPal’s contribution to the panel also focused on the need for partnership and collaboration to bring financial participation and financial health at scale to the billions who don’t have access to financial services or are not able to participate. To address this challenge at scale globally, the private sector, governments, and non-governmental institutions and non-profits will need to work together. PayPal is working to extend its impact on advancing financial participation and health by collaborating with two non-profits, Village Capital and Kiva. PayPal and Village Capital are directly supporting 40 promising entrepreneurs in Latin America, India, and the US, who have technology-based solutions to many of these financial participation challenges. Kiva has crowdsourced nearly $861 million in increments as little as $25 for 2 million entrepreneurs in 84 countries – with every single Kiva loan processed by PayPal.
The panel provided fruitful discussion on the opportunities FinTech presents, the issues that currently prevent people from achieving financial health globally, and the potential of innovation and technology to improve people’s lives. PayPal’s goal is to improve the way people manage and move their money through technology; this summit provided an opportunity for PayPal to feature our mission as well as the products and services we have produced to deliver on that mission.