Mitigating financial sector derisking through innovation: The role of digital technologies in humanitarian fund transfers

Published 22. Dec 2023
The worsening phenomenon of financial sector bank derisking continues to impact humanitarian aid delivery as countries are cut off from financial services. Research suggests that innovative financial technology (FinTech) services could offer solutions to facilitate and streamline humanitarian fund transfers including to countries suffering from bank derisking.

This report is the third in a series examining potential solutions to bank derisking. It is based on the outcome of an expert dialogue held in June 2023 that explored the role digital technologies play in remitting humanitarian funds domestically and internationally in poorly banked jurisdictions. The dialogue was jointly convened by the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Centre for New America Security (CNAS) and brought together over 40 experts from governments, international organisations, banks and fintech platforms.

The paper finds:

  • FinTech solutions have the potential to provide more efficient, secure and cost-effective fund transfers for non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • However, there remain challenges to implementing these solutions, and to-date, uptake by the NGO sector has been limited.
  • Case studies outlining existing examples of the use of digital innovations in humanitarian fund transfers offer potential for scale-up.

Recommendations are provided for experts in government, NGOs, and financial sectors to help realise the potential of fintech to address bank derisking.