R2A, a global RegTech prototyping lab designed for financial authorities such as central banks, rolls out partnership in Ghana, Mexico and Philippines to better serve the needs of all consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2017--The RegTech for Regulators Accelerator (R2A), a first initiative to deploy RegTech innovations by working directly with financial supervisors, regulators and policymakers, today announced its three partners. The central banks Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in the Philippines and Bank of Ghana (BoG) as well as the regulator and financial supervisor, the Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV) in Mexico are collaborating closely with R2A through July 2018 to prototype new RegTech solutions with software developers and data architects.

Until now, RegTech has typically catered to the private sector and compliance. RegTech is the application of existing and new technologies to improve the efficiency and efficacy of regulatory compliance and oversight. Now with R2A, some of the most forward-looking financial authorities from emerging economies are driving what the future of supervision, regulation and policymaking could look like in the US and the rest of the world.

The R2A prototyping approach is geared toward the development and adoption of fintech solutions for the collection, analysis and usage of data by financial authorities to not only improve market oversight and reduce compliance costs but also to develop smarter regulation and increase consumer trust, well-being and participation in the financial system. R2A also emphasizes rethinking the processes with which financial authorities acquire and use technology in the regulatory space. The R2A partners are collaborating on prototypes starting with:

  • Consumer Protection: Crowdsourcing, chatbots and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to monitor and manage consumer service complaints
  • Data Analytics: API-based solutions, data visualization and smart analytics for improved reporting and compliance
  • Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT): Machine Learning, Optical Character Recognition (OCP) and NLP for mining known and untapped sources of financial data

“R2A is thoughtfully conceived around our real challenges and needs as a central bank, particularly in leveraging technology for our work and how we interface with our supervised entities." said the Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., Governor of the BSP. “Not only will it make crucial processes more efficient but also better informed with the ability to process large data sets in a most timely manner. It is a privilege to count ourselves among the R2A partners. There is real global potential for financial authorities to, not just be more effective or efficient, but cutting-edge.”

R2A is a new initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is managed by BFA and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Visit www.r2accelerator.org to learn more about the challenges and solutions in the pipeline.

“Building financial authorities’ capacity is urgent,” said Simone di Castri, R2A project director. “They need to keep pace with the fast growth of the digital financial sector and massive amounts of data to analyze. The kinds of solutions that are informed and tested through the R2A prototypes empower those authorities to drive the growth of a thriving financial ecosystem with consumers that are much better off.”

R2A is the first initiative of its kind that seeks to bring a culture of technology and data science directly to central banks, other supervisors and policymakers to transform their institutional capacity and practices. By laying the groundwork for a global RegTech marketplace, RegTech for Regulators Accelerator is the start of an industry-wide movement toward smart and original approaches to supervision and policy analysis.

The announcement was made at the Meridian International Center as part of its Digital Finance Future series in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.