Uruguay’s central bank presents financial services innovation push

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, August 19, 2021

Uruguay’s central bank outlined the main target areas of its financial services innovation program, NOVABCU, and announced a dedicated portal where the public can monitor progress.

NOVABCU is engaged in work in the areas of open banking, peer-to-peer lending platforms, digital onboarding, virtual assets and crowdfunding platforms, the central bank said in a statement.

Collaborating with players from the wider financial services sphere is a key strategy.

“We want a financial system that is more innovative, more accessible, that incorporates technology, but that also embraces new ways of doing things,” said the bank’s chairman Diego Labat.

“This idea of innovation requires the central bank to move and requires the financial system to move. For that, at the central bank, we have to achieve enough space so that the financial system can.”

Officials have advanced three associated initiatives: the creation of an innovation observatory, an office of innovation and an innovation node.

Key objectives of the innovation observatory, the bank said last year when unveiling the drive, are planning associated activities, establishing priorities and supporting analysis of possible legal or regulatory changes.

Tasks of the office of innovation include taking a lead role in the execution of projects outlined by the observatory and feeding back results and findings, as well as conducting research.  The office is required to publish a final report. 

The innovation node constitutes a platform for the sharing of knowledge and experience between the public and private sectors. The node is also involved in project execution, providing the requisite infrastructure and exploring regulatory impacts.  

NOVABCU is being driven forward by the current central bank board, which took office in 2020.

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