Luis de Guindos: Financial innovation for inclusive growth - a European approach

Speech by Mr Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the European Central Bank, at the Conference "Financial integration and inclusive development: A view from the Mediterranean Countries", jointly organized by the Bank of Spain and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) with the support of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Madrid, 13 December 2019.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
16 December 2019


The benefits of technological innovation are tangible: we can see them and experience them in our everyday lives. Financial services are an integral part of our daily activities and are deeply affected by advances in technology. Payment services have changed considerably in recent years, driven by new technologies and shifts in consumer preferences. Instant person-to-person (P2P) retail payment solutions are now a reality in many countries and are increasingly available for consumers and businesses to use around the clock. Mobile P2P payment solutions allow people to simply use a smartphone to transfer money and only require the phone number or email address of the recipient to complete a transaction. At the point-of-sale, large global schemes such as Google Pay and Apple Pay use contactless technologies to enable quick and easy payments. In some markets, Quick Response (QR) codes mean making a payment as easy as taking a picture with a smartphone. Meanwhile, new service providers piggyback on existing banking and payment infrastructures to offer online payment solutions that cater to our digital lifestyle.

While I am convinced that technological progress needs to be fostered and not hindered, I can't but notice that its benefits have failed to reach all corners of our societies - in particular underprivileged populations and vulnerable groups, for whom financial innovation has not yet made a difference.