15IACC

Open Banking & Financial Transparency 2.0

10 November 09:00 – 11:00

Session description

Research by Transparency International consistently shows an inverse correlation between transparency and corruption. Indeed, the recent financial crisis and scandals involving the misuse of public funds, and wide spread global corruption all involve data obfuscation in their causes and/or aftermath.

The Open Bank Project proposes a radical ‘opening’ of banking transactions in order to target these global corruption, fraud and financial malpractice. It seeks to break the vicious circle of information deficit, distrust and corruption by bringing about more transparency, greater engagement, dialogue and trust.

The Open Bank Project (OBP) offers an open source solution for real time bank account sharing and enrichment. It empowers organisations to share views of their bank accounts with the public and trusted groups – yet still preserving privacy and commercial confidentiality where required – and encourages the public to enter into a timely and lively dialogue concerning the financial transaction data. For instance, an NGO would be able to give read-only access to its bank account to its donors so that they can see where their money is being spent and provide their feedback. As more organisations adopt open bank accounts, funders and consumers will be better able to judge which organisations best deserve funding and which are most efficient with the resources they have at their disposal.

The Better Than Cash Alliance was recently launched by the U.N. Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi , Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network and Visa Inc. This new initiative calls on governments, the development community and the private sector to adopt the use of electronic payments instead of cash, and provides resources to those who commit to make the transition.

Around the world today, governments, the development community and the private sector make billions of dollars of cash payments to people in developing economies. These include: disbursements of salaries, payments to suppliers, pensions, social welfare stipends, cash-for-work programmes, emergency relief payments, etc.. By using cash, these programs miss a great opportunity to increase transparency, reduce corruption and expand financial inclusion. Shifting the billions of dollars in cash payments to electronic payments can achieve the benefits of increased transparency, reduced corruption and financial inclusion because electronic financial flows can be tracked in real-time and because workers /clients / beneficiaries will have an account where they can save and build assets.

Cash payments often suffer from high leakage or misappropriation (according to the World Economic Forum and others). TI members know well that intermediaries can intercept cash payments and keep part of the payment or require bribes for making the payments. When large numbers of intermediaries are required to deliver payments to dispersed areas, or to poor or illiterate populations, up to 30 percent of the cash payments can leak along the way. Shifting to electronic payments can reduce by 75 percent the total losses associated with cash – it is a game changer for reducing corruption.

The aim of this session is to demonstrate how financial transparency can help tackle corruption and invite organisations to be more transparent using the Open Bank Project

and joining the Better Than Cash Alliance. We will present the Open Bank Project and the Better Than Cash Alliance to show that financial transparency can be achieved in a series of steps. We’ll empower organisations to be the change they want to see – and so adopt a more transparent approach themselves.

 

Session coordinator’s name:

Name: Simon Redfern

Organisation: TESOBE / Open Bank Project

 

Expert Delivering Kick Off Inspirational Speech *Can be the same as the session coordinator or expert

Name: Simon Redfern

Organisation: TESOBE / Open Bank Project

Topic: Open Banking & Financial Transparency 2.0

 

Session Facilitator/Moderator *Can be the same as the session coordinator or expert

Name: Ismail Chaib

Organisation: TESOBE / Open Bank Project

 

Experts

Name: Simon Redfern

Organisation: TESOBE / Open Bank Project

Topic: Open Banking

 

Name: Ismail Chaib

Organisation: TESOBE / Open Bank Project

Topic: Open Data, Technology and Financial Transparency

 

Name: Felix Weth

Organisation: Fair Future Network

Topic: Fairness, Accountability and Integrity

 

Name: Chris Taggert

Organisation: OpenCorporates

Topic: Corruption, Corporate Transparency & Open Data

 

Name: Ruth Goodwin-Groen

Organisation: Better Than Cash Alliance

Topic: Electronic Payments, Financial Transparency, Anti-Corruption, Financial Inclusion.

 

Laptop Note-taker

Name: Ismail Chaib

Organisation: TESOBE / Open Bank Project