‘After the war, Ukrainian fintechs will change the world’: Ukraine fintech leader speaks at inaugural Global Government Fintech Lab

By on 02/06/2022 | Updated on 03/06/2022
A picture of the participants in the Global Government Fintech Lab in Estonia on 1 June
A picture of the participants in the Global Government Fintech Lab in Estonia on 1 June

Keynote speeches from Estonia’s finance minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus and Rostyslav Dyuk, chairman of the Ukrainian Association of Fintech and Innovation Companies, were among the highlights of the inaugural Global Government Fintech Lab.

The Global Government FinTech Lab – which brought together senior public servants exploring the opportunities created by fintech – was held on 1 June in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia.

The in-person event attracted speakers from governments including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Austria, Latvia and the Czech Republic, as well as private sector representatives from companies including headline knowledge partners Microsoft and Quantexa.  

Pentus-Rosimannus delivered the Lab’s opening keynote, saying that the Baltic nation – well known as an e-governance leader – was in the throes of developing its first fintech strategy. “There must be room for innovation and experimentation,” she said.

In an address that took in topics ranging from future European crypto-asset regulation to Estonia’s growing interest ‘RegTech’ (regulatory technology), Pentus-Rosimannus acknowledged the environmental concerns around crypto ‘mining’ but also expressed hope that fintech solutions can play a growing role in helping to combat climate change.

Hope that Ukrainian fintechs ‘will change world’

Dyuk addressed the event via a video broadcast from Ukraine’s capital Kiev.

https://youtu.be/G7G34EsyHNY

“It’s impossible to be ready for a war. Ukraine is now heard all over the world but unfortunately the reason for this is very sad,” Dyuk said.

He said there were about 100 Ukrainian fintech companies in existence in 2018, a number that had more than doubled by 2021.

“In the past four years Ukraine has developed a healthy fintech ecosystem and I hope that, after the war, Ukrainian fintechs will change the world,” Dyuk said.

He also described the ‘Fintech Challenge for Ukraine’, a European Union (EU)-supported hackathon launched a fortnight ago to develop technological solutions that will ‘enable access to and provision of everyday services to Ukrainians and help the country’s recovery’.

The hackathon is inviting the private sector and individuals from any location worldwide to create solutions that will: ‘provide timely multi-sectoral assistance to refugees, displaced and non-displaced persons’; ‘enable companies [with] the provision of everyday services’; and ‘help in the recovery of a resilient and modern country’.

Bringing together government fintech pioneers

The Lab’s agenda was split into two themes: ‘How can governments help fintech?’ (the morning sessions) and ‘How can fintech help governments?’ (during the afternoon).

The day featured five panel discussions, which were ‘How can governments get organised for fintech?’ and ‘How can governments help the fintech sector to grow?’ (the two morning sessions); and ‘How can fintech help governments tackle fraud, error and debt?’, ‘How can fintech help government payments?’ and ‘How could central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) help deliver public good?’ (the three afternoon session).

The event was run in partnership with the host nation’s government and broadcast globally via a live stream. It concluded with showcases from two Estonia-headquartered fintech companies, Bankish and Salv, each presenting how their solutions can help public authorities. 

“It’s been a special moment for our team to bring together government fintech pioneers in Tallinn,” said Global Government Fintech editor Ian Hall. “It was fantastic to see and hear all the different government representatives’ perspectives, see new international connections being forged and people enjoying the buzz of an in-person event.”

Panel session reports are already in production and you can also review the day by searching on hashtag #GGFintechLab on Global Government Fintech’s Twitter account.

Further information can also be found on the Global Government Fintech Lab webpage.

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About Ian Hall

Ian is editor of Global Government Fintech a sister publication to Global Government Forum. Ian also writes for media including City AM and #DisruptionBanking. He is former UK director for the pan-European media network Euractiv (2011-2018), editor of Public Affairs News (2007-2011) and news editor of PR Week (2000-2007). He was shortlisted for ‘Editor of the Year’ at the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) Awards in 2010. He began his career in Bulgaria at English-language weekly the Sofia Echo. Ian has an MA in Urban and Regional Change in Europe and a BA in Economics, both from Durham University.

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