TEHRAN, Oct. 13 (MNA) – Digital Finance Institute, a Canadian not-for-profit, is planning to launch a pilot project dubbed as ‘Refugee Bank’ in Iran with SanaPay, a payments company based in Tehran, to bring humanitarian aid payments to refugees.
The banking issues for refugees and migrants have always been a big concern because with no official ID, they are excluded from society and from access to banks.
Various solutions offered so far by several banking and financial institutions have suffered from certain shortcomings like stringent identity and anti-money laundering regulations in place and the vouchers given to refugees to exchange with merchants for supplies are expensive and open to abuse not to mention that they are only usable by those refugees who stay in camps.
The Digital Finance Institute, a Canadian not-for-profit, has entered into the first arrangement with an Iranian firm since the historic nuclear accord was signed and as the first part of the arrangement is joining forces with Sana Pardakht.
The two sides will have bilateral cooperation on the role of innovation labs to drive technology, banking and finance, Bitcoin, smart cities and renewable energy, emerging payments, Iran’s potential to emerge as a finance hub post-sanctions, business opportunities in Iran and the growing importance of social banking with a case study on payments to solve financial inclusion for the refugee crisis.
Christine Duhaime, a counter-terrorist financing and financial regulatory lawyer and the founder of the Digital Finance Institute, has announced that the Refugee Bank project will be featured at the SWIFT global conference called Sibos this week in Singapore before 8,000 world bankers.
“It is the first time Iran has been featured at the world’s most prestigious SWIFT global banking conference,” noted Duhaime adding that, “the project will bring together Iranian financial technology with Canadian and American payments expertise to study ways to improve payments to 60 million refugees in the world.”
She further stressed that, “the key to providing opportunities and support for refugees is to improve the efficiency and delivery of refugee payments, to enable more refugees to buy food, pay for shelter and afford education for their children.”
The Digital Finance Institute’s Refugee Bank and Refugee Payments Project takes center stage at SWIFT’s Sibos 2015 Conference, as the biggest banking conference in the world, today in Singapore as part of the Innotribe session on financial inclusion and social banking.
Christine Duhaime and Sam Maule will present the Institute’s project to more than 7,000 global bankers attending the Conference and launched their first crowd-funding campaign to kick-start the project.