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WSBI members take digital path while keeping human touch

WSBI members take digital path while keeping human touch

​>> Savings and retail banking trade body releases Washington Declaration that focuses on digitalisation

>> Members commit to 400 million more accounts to help reach World Bank Universal Financial Access Goal​

WASHINGTON, D.C., 23 September 2015 – Digitalisation is the biggest challenge facing savings and retail banks in the near future, according to conclusions in a statement released today by World Savings and Retail Banking Institute. 

Called the WSBI Washington Declaration, it concludes that focus should not only be placed on the challenges but also on the opportunities offered by new technologies to deepen customer relationships. Released at the 24th World Congress of Savings and Retail Banks being held this week in Washington, it is a primary reference document of strategic goals WSBI sets for itself for the next three years. It answers how the ongoing global wave of digitalisation affects these objectives and what opportunities will arise.

The declaration ​includes a new pledge by WSBI members to contribute to the World Bank's Universal Financial Access 2020 strategic goal. Based on the current membership, WSBI and its members aim to reach 1.7 billion customers and 400 million new transaction accounts by the end of 2020. This numeric commitment reinforces WSBI's continued engagement with the 'Account for Everyone' goal first stated in its 2012-Marrakech Declaration​. As at year-end 2014, members served a baseline total of 1.3 billion customers, which includes providing accounts for the poor worldwide. WSBI members pledge to add 400 million accounts. Getting to the 2020 goals requires the sector to harness opportunities offered by new technologies for the savings and retail banking model.

WSBI President Heinrich Haasis said: "We see a clear role for policy-makers and regulators to support the global financial inclusion challenge. Policy should aim to boost innovation and new technologies. Reasonable, proportional framework is also needed to keep our banking model an important part of a diverse financial landscape."

>> See the Washington Declaration

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Note to editor:

WSBI – The Global Voice of Savings and Retail Banking

WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $14tn and serving one billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2014). WSBI focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth, and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalization that is just and fair, supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone.

ends / all

Banking Distribution Channels; Banking Technology; Digitalisation; Doubling savings accounts; Mobile payments; Mobile Banking; Proximity; Remote distribution; Business case; Communication - institutional & commercial; Financial education; Responsible Business; Information Technology; Consumer protection; Data protection and data privacy; Proportionality