The coronavirus emergency has highlighted the importance of innovations in digital financial products and services. Digital finance can contribute in a positive way to tackling the consequences of the crisis for businesses, economy and society.
Digitalisation of the financial sector is becoming prevalent and can be expected to accelerate following the Covid-19 pandemic.
On 3 April, the Commission launched a consultation focused on three priorities to stimulate the development of digital finance in the EU:
Accounting, auditing, banking, insurance are listed among the sectors that can respond to the consultation.
Among of the pertinent matters covered in the consultation are an open finance policy, the benefits data-driven innovation can bring in compliance and supervision, the use of AI-based models in the financial industry
In its new SME strategy, released on 10 March 2020, the European Commission has put a strong emphasis on empowering SMEs to better grasp the opportunities offered by new digital technologies.
The digitalisation of SMEs will be supported by a network of 240 Digital Innovation Hubs, in each region of Europe. These hubs will offer opportunities for SMEs to test new technologies, access financing advice and market intelligence as well as networking opportunities.
The Commission will focus on developing digital skills through Digital Crash Courses for SME employees to learn about AI, cybersecurity or blockchain.
Together with digital finance strategy, the Commission also launched a consultation on retail payments on 3 April. The consultation is focused on four key objectives:
On 19 February, the EC has published the EU strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI). For the Commission, building trust in AI is essential for its successful uptake.
The new regulatory framework will follow a risk-based approach. Clear rules will apply in high-risk AI systems without disproportionally burdening less risky ones. For high-risk cases, AI systems should be transparent, traceable and guarantee human oversight. Authorities should be able to test and certify the data used by algorithms.
The EC emphasises that AI should be human-centric, ethical, sustainable, respecting fundamental rights and values. Independent assessment of AI-systems will facilitate trust in this technology.
Along with EU strategy on Artificial Intelligence, the EC has also published the European data strategy. The ambition is to enable the EU to become the most attractive, secure and data-agile economy.
A number of policy measures are put forward to achieve this goal. Common European rules and efficient enforcement mechanisms should ensure that:
The ENISA report explored four areas where standards and policies can evolve to become potential candidates for EU cybersecurity certification schemes.
The report analysed standards, identified gaps and proposed recommendations to address the gaps for the standards to form the basis of future candidate EU cybersecurity certification schemes.
The report found that for a potential EU candidate scheme to be successful, the levels of assurance should reflect the market needs. Standards include technical rules that can provide the guiding principles for assurance levels in all four areas.
In this paper, ENISA presents the value of the cybersecurity standardisation for certification, the roles and responsibilities of Standards Developing Organisations and discusses various ways how standardisation can support efficiently the process of certification schemes.
It proposes the qualification system, which can be used to define more precisely the requirements associated to the different assurance levels mentioned in the article 52 of the Cybersecurity Act. “Assurance levels of European cybersecurity certification schemes”.
IOSCO’s report Issues, Risks and Regulatory Considerations Relating to Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms looks into the issues and risks associated with crypto-asset trading platforms (CTPs). It describes key considerations and provides related toolkits for each key consideration:
The IOSCO report Global Stablecoin Initiatives examines the regulatory issues arising from the use of global stablecoins and explores how existing IOSCO Principles and Standards could apply to these arrangements. This report was prepared by the IOSCO´s Fintech Network to identity possible implications for securities market regulators.
According to the findings, depending on its structure, a global stablecoin may fall within securities market regulatory frameworks. Whether IOSCO Principles and Standards are relevant to stablecoins depends on the specific design of each initiative and its legal and regulatory characteristics and features.
The recent ACCA report explores the digital challenges accountants face and how they can maximise opportunities by becoming a digital citizen. The report is informed by a survey of 4,264 accountants globally.
Findings reveal that while in the more traditional areas accountants have an expert ability level (spreadsheeting (81%), enterprise resource planning (72%)), only 20% of accountants have expertise in emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence and machine learning.This curated content was brought to you by Iryna de Smedt, Accountancy Europe policy advisor since 2009. You can send her tips by email and connect with her on LinkedIn.