Citi, in partnership with Imperial College Business School’s Centre for Financial Technology, has launched its latest Digital Money Index. The index, now in its eighth year, tracks 113 countries (up from 84 in previous years) in terms of their development of digital money readiness.
The index continues to classify countries into four clusters – Incipient, Emerging, In-transition and Materially Ready - according to their levels of digital readiness. This year’s revamped index includes new indicators and profiles the progress made by several developing economies in driving digital money readiness.
Naveed Sultan, Chairman ICG, commented: “Driving digital money readiness and adoption has not been easy, as has been evident in our previous reports. It requires collaboration across economic stakeholders around a common digital vision, as well as a holistic digital policy. Such a holistic digital policy can enable countries to reap the full benefits of a digitized economy.”
The report explains that a holistic digital policy rests on four pillars, digital infrastructure, digital adoption, service innovation, and digital trust, driven by a clear vision and supported by robust regulations and governance.
It advises that as a first step, governments must establish a digital vision that aligns with their larger goals, such as promoting growth, improving service delivery, and increasing public involvement, among others.
This year, results showed that countries that have augmented a holistic digital policy with targeted investments have performed particularly well. This was particularly evident in countries such as Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, and Uruguay, which have all outperformed their peers.
Ronit Ghose, global head of banking, fintech and digital assets commented: “It is evident in our latest findings that policymakers that played an active role, beyond enacting policies, have made considerable progress in driving digital adoption compared to peers. These entrepreneurial markets have had a bold vision, enacted favorable policies, and made investments to drive the vision.”
Deeph Chana, co-Director of the Centre for Financial Technology at Imperial College Business School commented: “I'm delighted to see the publication of this year’s Digital Money Index, which is a core element of our multi-year collaboration with Citi here at the Centre for Financial Technology. This latest version represents a significant advance in our research and development since the DMI was last published, with a refactored data ingestion and processing engine at its heart. The result is a DMI that uses machine learning methods to provide enhanced accuracy and timeliness, a greater ability to process new datasets as they emerge and establishes the basis for further improvements in the years to come."