2017 Events

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Taxation and the Internet Economy

January 18, 2017

This online session reviewed and discussed policy issues related to taxation of firms and consumers within the Internet economy. The ongoing debate around taxation policy in the digital economy entails multiple issues: 

  • What is the appropriate level of taxation on capital equipment purchased by telecommunications operators?
  • How should Internet sales be taxed? 
  • How should consumption on of digital goods be taxed? 
  • Should the consumer purchasing wireless devices and personal computers be taxed? 
  • Should the providers of digital platforms, such as Google and Facebook, be taxed at the country where revenues are generated, or should they benefit from international rules that allow them to take corporate tax exemptions in certain locations? 
  • Should internet service providers pay taxes the same way as telecommunications carriers?

Speakers included:

Presentations will be made by:

  • Prof. Reuven Avi-Yonah, Irwin I. Cohn Professor of Law and Director, International Tax LLM Program, University of Michigan
  • Prof. Martin Cave, Imperial College Business School
  • Ferdinand Hogroian, Senior Tax & Legislative Counsel for the Council On State Taxation
  • Raul Katz, Director of Business Strategy Research, Columbia Institute for Tele-information (Columbia University)

CITI Fellows Seminar: Yochai Benkler

February 7, 2017

Yochai Benkler, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. “Dimensions of Power.” 

When Everyone is Connected

March 1, 2017

Topics include:

  • Economic and employment effects and institutional leadership in the transitions to global universal connectivity;
  • The impact on democratic institutions and politics and the partnership of public service and private individuals;
  • The impacts on marketing and retailing;
  • The transition of tech capability from institutions and corporations to individuals: is this a benefit or will it create a rising tide of expectations into the future?
  • Will technology and economies of scale reduce costs, or will universal connectivity raise them? What is the direct experience with that at the FCC
  • What will be the impact of artificial intelligence?
  • What will be the impact of the "internet of everything"?

CITI Fellows Seminar: Julian Sanchez

March 7, 2017

Julian Sanchez, Cato Institute. “Is there a Need for Regulation on Government Hacking?” 

Why Dynamic Spectrum White Spaces?

April 5, 2017

Use of unlicensed television band channels (or White Spaces) has been experimented with for over a decade. Initial FCC approval came in 2010, with further Reports and Orders in 2012. Where is White Space today, in the US and worldwide? Will it help bring the next few billion people onto the Internet? And tens of billions of things?

In addition to ‘Wi-Fi’ on vacant TV spectrum, other software-programmable network and ‘cloud to edge’ innovations can make mobile broadband services by local cellular and other providers more available, affordable, flexible, and resilient. What are the key policy, business, and technology challenges for the future of dynamic spectrum white spaces? Will 5G pass White Spaces by?

Speakers included:

  • Linda Bell, Provost, Barnard College, moderator and speaker
  • Eli Noam, Professor of Economics, Columbia Business School
  • Haig Nalbantian, Senior Partner, Mercer Workforce Sciences Institute
  • Lorenzo Pupillo, Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels, moderator and speaker
  • Paolo Naticchioni, Associate Professor, University of Roma Tre, Italy
  • Robert Cohen, Fellow, Economic Strategy Institute
  • Leonard Waverman, Dean, DeGroote School of Business, Canada, moderator and speaker
  • David Viviano, Chief Economist, SAG-AFTRA (Labor Union)
  • Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology an Innovation Foundation

Blockchain + Distributed Ledger Tech & Financial Inclusion

April 18

This webinar explored Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Distributed Ledger Technologies and their impact on financial inclusion.

Presenter: Dr. Leon Perlman

CITI Fellows Seminar: Mark Jamison

April 18, 2017

Mark Jamison, Public Utility Research Center, University of Florida. “Infrastructure Options for the New Administration.”  

Payment Systems & Digital Financial Services

May 2, 2017

An introduction to and refresher of payment systems, key concepts and contemporary issues. It included a brief discussion on DFS interoperability.

Presenter: Dr. Brad Pragnell, Payments Canada

CITI Fellows Seminar: Jean M. Prewitt

May 2, 2017

Jean M. Prewitt, Independent Film & Television Alliance. “The Independent Film Industry and Digital Public Policy.”  

The Encryption Dilemma 2.0: A Transatlantic Perspective

May 8, 2017

Encryption has been for years at the center of debate between online privacy and national security. The issue has now reached urgency. There are many open questions. A new level of cooperation between law enforcement and technology providers will be required to  guarantee several important societal values: privacy and security for individuals; access to information in support of criminal or national security investigations; and business confidence in the security of their products and transactions. In this online conference, experts from the US and Europe provided analysis and recommendations.

Latest Trends in Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer Implementations in DFS

May 23, 2017

Focus areas for this webinar include:​

  • ​​Current AML efforts by Standard Setting Bodies​
  • Trends in telecom and DFS e-KYC (SIM card registration, use of biometrics etc) 
  • F​raud trends affecting DFS or payment systems etc
  • Regtech​ use in AML/CDD/KYC

Presenter: Prof Louis de Koker

Digital Identity Trends & Impact on Financial Inclusion

June 1, 2017

This webinar explored the latest trends in Digital Identity generally, and the implications in Financial Inclusion.

Presenter: Paul Makin, Head of Financial Inclusion, Consult Hyperion

Mobile Application Security in Digital Financial Services

June 6, 2017

This webinar focused on the results of research in mobile banking and mobile payment applications, and the vulnerabilities that have been discovered that may affect user funds and system integrity.

Presenter:  Prof. Kevin R. Butler - Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, University of Florida

CITI Fellows Seminar: Vincent Curren

June 6, 2017

Vincent Curren, U.S. Corporation for Public Broadcasting/Breakthrough Public Media Consulting, Inc. “ATSC 3.0 is coming. What does it mean and for whom?”

6th Annual FinTech, DFS & Payments Summit

June 8-9, 2017

The 6th Annual Summit looked at disruptive effects & implementation of emerging & mobile payments, digital financial services, blockchain & cryptocurrencies in developing & developed worlds. The only high-impact event bringing together a high-level group of international speakers that cover the payments and blockchain technology ecosystem and emerging payments in the developing world, and connecting innovators and investors in the fintech ecosystem. In addition to the main conference day on June 8, there was an additional day, the Innovators and Investors day on June 9. This featured a range of fintech investors and innovation hubs as well as a number of fintech startups and innovators.

Speakers included:

  • David Albert – COO, Libra
  • Sebastian Serrano – Founder & CEO, Ripio
  • Jim Regenor – Business Unit Director, Moog
  • Matthew Spoke – CEO, Nuco
  • Brad Walker – CEO, Income&
  • Navin Maganti – CEO, Decision Hawk
  • Perry Rahbar – CEO, DV01
  • Jane Barratt – CEO, GoldBean
  • Richard Rothenberg – CEO & Cofounder, Global AI
  • Ludwig Schulze – CEO, Mistral Mobile
  • Ryan Wright – CEO, Wrightgrid.com
  • Shailee Adinolfi – VP, Banqu
  • Sesh Murthy – CEO, CloudRaxak
  • Shanmugavel Sankaran – CEO, Fixnix
  • Sam Spiegel – CEO, Tala
  • Lin Chua – COO & Cofounder, Internex Capital
  • Dimitri Sirota – CEO, BigID
  • Saar Golde – Chief Data Scientist, Via
  • Mark Stein – CEO, Underwrite.ai
  • Jake Soffer – CEO, Rollio
  • Andres Wolberg-Stok – Global Head of Policy, Citi FinTech
  • Arian Lewis – Director of Open Innovation at Barclays
  • Nancy Selph – Head of New York Innovation Lab, Deutsche Bank AG
  • Rob Levy – Managing Director, Center For Financial Services Innovation
  • Jo Hill – Director of Market Intelligence for the Financial Conduct Authority (UK)
  • Edward Zimmerman – Partner, Lowenstein Sandler LLP
  • Christina Bechhold – Partner, Empire Angels
  • Brendan Dickinson – ‎Partner, ‎Canaan Partners
  • Marla Blow – Partner, Fenway Summer LLC
  • Matt Homer – Senior Policy Advisor, Digital Financial Services, USAID
  • Walter Sweet – VP, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  • Sergio Navajos – Senior Specialist, InterAmerican Development Bank
  • Matt Saal – Head of Digital Finance, IFC
  • Chris Skinner – The Finanser, UK

Bitcoin, Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technologies & Financial Inclusion

July 24, 2017

This webinar is an introductory primer to distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and their application in financial inclusion. It touched on:

  • Their numerous strengths and weaknesses
  • The varied commercial and public-good applications that have been identified The implications of the disintermediation of traditional centralized controllers of data
  • Concerns in respect of the technology designs and their consistency
  • Issues in implementation and usage Security of DLTs
  • A sample of evolving legal and regulatory challenges and uncertainties around DLTs
  • Applications that may be particularly useful for financial inclusion, including remittances & identity systems, clearing and settlement, and land registration.

Presenter: Dr Leon Perlman, Head, DFS Observatory, Columbia Business School

How Financial Institutions and Fintechs are Partnering for Inclusion: Lessons from the Frontlines

August 8, 2017

This webinar presented research examining how partnerships between mainstream financial institutions (e.g., banks, insurers, and payment companies) and fintechs are addressing financial inclusion challenges and expanding access to the formal financial economy for underserved segments of the global population, particularly in emerging markets. It incorporates insights from 24 in-depth interviews with people at the frontlines of this innovation and highlights 14 partnerships focused on financial inclusion that we think exemplify best-case scenarios and good practice. Contrary to the popular narrative, financial institutions view fintechs as partners in innovation, not threats to their core business. By offering better, less expensive, and more innovative products, financial institutions can assert their continued relevance as customer-facing institutions with help from fintech partnerships.

Presenter: Dr Sonja E. Kelly, Director of Research, Center for Financial Inclusion, Accion 

Introduction To 'Faster Payment Systems' and Implications for Emerging Economy Payment Systems

August 22, 2017

This webinar explored how faster payment systems are both different from and similar to traditional bank-based payment systems.  Importantly, the webinar explored the implications of faster payment systems for emerging economies, issues for industry participants and policymakers and where these systems sit alongside other innovations such as mobile payments and distributed ledger technology.

Presenter: Dr Brad Pragnell

Trends in Interoperability Between Digital Financial Services Systems

September 6, 2017

The webinar looked at trends in interoperability between DFS systems, particularly focusing on governance, fair and equitable business model and then efficient clearing and settlement mechanisms. It also looked at the pros and cons of the bilateral and switch models. While markets are now focusing on solving for the switch, they actually need to focus on solving scheme governance and business models first.

Presenter: Charles Niehaus, Circle Payments

2017 IMMAA Annual Conference, São Paulo, Brazil

September 11-12, 2017

IMMAA São Paulo 2017 was hosted by School of Architecture, Arts and Communication
at São Paulo State University (Unesp), Brazil.

While the range of topics addressed at the IMMAA’s 2017 Annual Conference was as broad as the issues that must be addressed by managers and policy makers in media markets, the 2017 conference was focused especially on the implications of disruption in media markets for management strategy and educational practice.

Mobile Money as a Digital Financial Service: Risks and Mitigatory Best Practices 

September 20, 2017

Webinar presented by Mercy Buku, CAMS, LLB Hons (Nbi), ACIB (UK) Nairobi Kenya
Mercy Buku is a Certified Antimoney Laundering Specialist and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, currently practising as an AML/CFT Legal Consultant in the Mobile payments and Banking Sector. She has worked in various legal and compliance risk positions in the banking and telecommunications sector and was previously the Senior Manager, Money Laundering Reporting Office  for M-pesa in Safaricom Limited (Kenya).

Presenter: Mercy Buku, Certified Antimoney Laundering Specialist and Advocate of the High Court of Kenya

Introduction To The Level 1 Project and its implications for DFS

September 27, 2017

Combining data gathered in the field and innovative thinking informed by consumers’ needs, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has developed one model for a country-level digital financial services system called Level 1 that is designed to bring the poor into the formal economy.  The BMGF have created a working digital financial services prototype to demonstrate how the system works.  Kosta Peric of the BMGF will introduce you to the Level 1 Platform and discuss its implications for DFS.

Presenter: Kosta Peric, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

CITI Fellows Seminar: David Farber

October 3, 2017

David Farber, University of Pennsylvania/Carnegie Mellon U. “back to the Future – Mining past research to create a more secure distributed computing environment.” 

Incentive Auctions for Spectrum Allocation

October 12, 2017

Introduction to Payments Technology

October 19, 2017

This webinar provided an overview of the technical components of payments, including the financial sharing component, Cards, to Point of Sale Technology, NFC and use in transit systems.

Presenter: Simon Laker, Consult Hyperion

Regtech & Financial Inclusion

October 26, 2017

'Regtech' is a blend word of 'regulatory technology' that was created to address regulatory challenges in the financial services sector through innovative technology. This webinar addressed its use in financial inclusion.

Presenter: Prof Ross Buckley, Scientia Professor, Professor, King & Wood Mallesons Chair of International Finance Law, UNSW

De-risking And Financial Inclusion: Challenges and Solutions

November 1, 2017

This webinar looked at the relatively recent phenomenon of derisking and and its impact on Financial Inclusion.  Derisking has resulted in remittances to emerging countries being blocked, affecting these economies and their DFS systems.

Presenter: Michael Wechsler, Senior Research Scholar, DFSO, Columbia Business School

CITI Fellows Seminar: Larry Strickling

November 7, 2017

Larry Strickling, US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “The future of internet governance: Expanding the use of the multi-stakeholder approach.”  

State of Telecom: The Internet’s Next Bottlenecks? FANG/GAFAMS, Video Cloud Platforms and the Middle Mile

November 17, 2017

In the past, improvements in business entry and regulatory policy have lowered a number of market barriers in the telecom and TV industries, enabling competition and access. As this shift has occurred, what bottlenecks are left or have emerged in the new digital environment? This half day online conference explored the potential or actual disruption by the new content and distribution platforms and their impact on media and technology markets. It also analyzed the various public policy options that have been advocated.

Roundtable: De-Risking and International Remittances - Challenges and Solutions

November 20, 2017

This roundtable featured a cross section of international regulators, banks, and service providers who will provide expert insight into the recent increase of de-risking activity affecting international remittances and financial inclusion, and includes a discussion of potential solutions.

Speakers included:

  • Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, Head, National ICT & Digital Economy, Somalia
  • Governor John A Rolle, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahamas
  • Grovetta Gardineer, Senior Deputy Comptroller for Compliance and Community Affairs
  • Margaret Miller, Lead Financial Economist and Global Lead, Responsible Financial Access, World Bank
  • Dr Toussant Boyce, Head, Office of Integrity, Compliance and Accountability, Caribbean Development Bank, Barbados
  • Hugo Cuevas-Mohr, International Money Transfer Conferences, USA
  • Kathy Tomasofsky, Money Service Business Association, USA
  • Oliver Gale, Founder, Bitt, Barbados
  • Mark Corritori, Senior Director, Global Push Payments, MasterCard

Credit Provision in Digital Financial Services

November 22, 2017

Topics Covered:

  • Overview of DFS-based credit provison in Uganda, Kenya and India
  • Market studies
  • Is credit provision a force for inclusion or exclusion?
  • Lending to merchants
  • Lending against digital footprint data
  • Lending to farmers

Presenter: Mr Graham Wright, CEO Microsave

CITI Fellows Seminar: Andrew Wise

December 5, 2017

Andrew Wise, Federal Communications Commission. “The FCC’s new media competition rules, their justification, and the Commission’s upcoming agenda.”  

Infrastructure Security In Digital Financial Services

December 14, 2017

This webinar looked at vulnerabilities in telecommunications and mobile networks that affect use of mobile banking and mobile payments applications and services in the developed and developing world. Some solutions were offered.

Presenter: Dr Leon Perlman, Head DFSO, CBS