H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), met with European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is also Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, in Brussels on 28 September 2022.
Discussion focused on the importance of digital public goods for improving access to and secure use of digital financial services. The European Commissioner’s portfolio includes digitization.
As UNSGSA, Queen Máxima is committed to helping people build better financial futures in part by connecting them to secure and affordable digital financial services. The basis for services such as a bank or savings account, insurance, loans, pensions, and digital payment methods are digital public goods. These include digital IDs for opening an account and good telecom connections, data privacy and interoperable payment systems for digital banking. The conversation with European Commissioner Vestager covered the role of the European Commission in developing regulations for digital public goods that optimize access to and use of financial services for everyone.
According to the latest figures from the World Bank Group, 76% of adults worldwide now have a bank account (Global Findex 2021). Digital public goods are important to also connect the missing 24%, especially underserved groups such as the poor, women, smallholder farmers, and small businesses.