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IDB Lab and Switzerland Agree to Foster Financial Inclusion in Peru

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic — The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) announced a new partnership between the Government of Switzerland and IDB Lab to promote financial inclusion among vulnerable populations in Peru. The agreement was formalized during the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IDB and IDB Invest.

The CHF 250,000 funding will enable IDB Lab to pilot the development of universal digital wallets for financial inclusion based on blockchain technology under the regional initiative titled "Digital Wallets for Inclusion and Sustainability” towards a longer engagement for scaling the projects benefits to other countries. This pilot aims to demonstrate that the use of universal digital wallets creates opportunities for the financial inclusion of unattended or insufficiently attended populations such as women in Peru.

This pilot aims to develop and test a unique interoperable protocol and standard for digital wallets across countries. This enables seamless communication and instant verification between wallets, optimizing and scaling their use among vulnerable populations and small businesses. Thereby it will create an open and competitive application marketplace for digital wallets specialized in the provision of financial inclusion services.

In practical terms, the protocol provided by this project will allow the beneficiaries to manage their assets, including identity documents, property titles, financial collaterals, environmental certificates, credit history, professional certificates, and many more, through a mobile application. Furthermore, the project puts the vulnerable population in the driver's seat of their destiny due to the possibilities offered by data ownership under a fully decentralized model enabled by the LACChain program's technology.

This initiative builds upon a previous phase led by IDB Lab’s LACChain flagship initiative, which successfully deployed a government-lead regulatory-compliant blockchain infrastructure. LACChain accelerated the use of blockchain technologies, benefiting 9.2 million vulnerable individuals across 18 LAC countries through over 100 projects.

"Universal digital wallets are poised to become a gamechanger for the financial inclusion of vulnerable populations in the region. This contribution from the Government of Switzerland will allow us to strengthen IDB Lab’s LACChain initiative and reinforce IDB Lab’s hub-centric approach, thereby increasing its development scale and impact" said Irene Arias, CEO of IDB Lab.

“Switzerland has an important blockchain ecosystem. We are therefore excited to see this technology piloted by LACChain in Peru to foster financial inclusion and unlocking economic and social opportunities for women and other excluded or underserved segments of the population” said Liliana de Sá Kirchknopf, Head of Private Sector Development Division at SECO.

This contribution from SECO complements a $6 million contribution to IDB Lab in 2023 to scale up results-based finance interventions, specifically social impact bonds, in Peru and Colombia. The objective of that operation is to drive greater resource efficiency, development effectiveness, and improved social and environmental outcomes and innovation in Latin America by providing access to expertise and catalytic funding for the next generation of outcomes-based financing projects in the region connected with IDB Group operation needs.

About the IDB Group 

The IDB Group is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. We contribute to improving lives by providing financial solutions and development expertise to public- and private-sector clients. The Group comprises the IDB, which has worked with governments for more than 60 years; IDB Invest, which serves the private sector; and IDB Lab, which tests innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth. Take our virtual tour.

About SECO

SECO implements Switzerland’s economic and trade policy measures for the benefit of developing countries. SECO’s expertise enables partner countries to shape structural transformation, develop their private sector and integrate into the global economy. The goal is to promote economic growth and sustainable prosperity. 

Contacts

Manzano Guillen, Maria De Gador

Manzano Guillen, Maria De Gador

Garcia,Geraldine

Garcia,Geraldine
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