Regional Conference on Payments and Markets Infrastructures

Junio 15 – 18, 2021


CEMLA organized the Regional Conference on Payments and Market Infrastructures, in collaboration with Banco de la República (Central Bank of Colombia), from June 15 to 18, as a digital event. This is the first of a series of biennial regional academic conferences on payments and financial market infrastructures that CEMLA will be hosting ahead.

The Scientific Committee of the Conference comprised internationally well-known scholars and central bank researchers, including professor Jean Charles Rochet, from University of Zurich and Dr. Paolo Barucca, from University College London, Dr. Juan Ayuso, Director General of Operations, Markets and Operations at Banco de España, and Dr. Francisco Rivadeneyra, Director of CBDC and Fintech Policy and Research at Bank of Canada, among others. Dr. James McAndrews and Professor Rodney Garratt, both of them Former Vice-presidents at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, featured as keynote speakers.

Dr. Manuel Ramos Francia, Director General of CEMLA and General Manager Leonardo Villar, from Banco de la República (Colombia), inaugurated the Conference remarking that the present context of transformation for payments and financial market infrastructures (FMIs) is leading the academia, the central banking community and other interested stakeholders to expand their research and policy work toward a better understanding of how new technologies would be shaping the future of how we way and are paid. 

For this first edition of the Conference, there were four themes making the agenda: Interchange Fees, Central Banks Digital Currencies, Financial Market Infrastructures and Payments, and Retail Payments issues.

Keynote lecture: “Fees, Funding and Fungibility”

Dr. James McAndrews delivered a keynote on the importance of two different types of competition before and after the digitization of payment platforms. Dr. McAndrews argued that competition between payment platforms could discourage consumers welfare. Relatedly, he noted that digitization of such platforms could lead to important changes in their structure of fees, profitability and interoperability. In particular, he focused on how the use of data from payment transactions would become key as it will steer product differentiation and interoperability; this could create economies of scale and market concentration (on demand-side). Dr. McAndrews concluded by underlining that the advent of new digital payment platforms is promising but seems to offer lower prospects for interoperability. This context might be pushing the frontiers of central banks to safeguard the well-functioning of payment systems.

Interchange fees

In this session, three research papers guided the discussion. As a key message, it was underlined the important role played by policy and regulation to strike an optimal balance between profitability for payment service providers and consumer welfare. The discussion helped to note that competition on the acquiring side and efforts to enlarge the merchants base would be critical in the way forward, especially for economies with underdeveloped retail payment systems aiming at provide universal financial access.

In the first paper presented, authors conducted an application of the tourist test, developed by Rochet and Tirole (2011), in ColombiaThe study was motivated in order to deepen on why the levels of acceptance of electronic means for payments by merchants are low, although its use in emerging countries shows a growing tendency, and under which conditions merchants would be indifferent to accept electronic or other type of means. The results presented were based on a survey applied to different types of businesses categorized as: large-medium, small and micro-commerce. Authors showed that the most used mean was cash in all categories, followed by credit cards, where the small businesses had the largest proportion, and then debit cards and cheques. It was also mentioned that two thirds of the merchants that accept electronic payments use some strategy to incentivize consumers to use pay with cash, given that its marginal cost is lower than the marginal cost of debit and credit cards.

The second paper showed and cross-country analysis on interchange fees regulation and card payments. In this paper, authors studied the role of interchange fees to explain the heterogeneity in card payments across countries in the European Union and over time, by analyzing data for 50 countries from 2010 to 2020. Through a panel approach and by comparing the evolution of transactions per capita in countries exposed to the interchange fees regulation versus similar countries not exposed to it both before and after the intervention; it was found a negative and significant relationship between interchange fees and both the number of card transactions per capita and their growth rates, having that when the interchange fee was reduced on 10 basis points, card transactions per capita incremented 3.5%.   

In the last paper of the session was presented evidence from Brazilian case on the effects of regulating credit cards interchange fees. Authors analyzed the impact of implementing maximum thresholds to debit cards on cards issuers’ revenues, merchant discount rate of debit transactions, both credit and debit cards usage and debit card scheme fees paid by cards issuers and acquirers. For the study it was used a proprietary dataset afforded by Central Bank of Brazil from 2016 to 2020, using quarterly information, which was sufficient to accommodate economic cycles. It was found that the cap reduced card issuers’ earnings with debit cards proportionally to the cut, contrary to the case of credit cards, where the revenues were not affected. Also, it was shown that the regulation of debit card interchange fees did not affected the dynamics of its usage, nor it changes debit card scheme fees.

Keynote lecture: “Monetizing privacy with CBDC”

Professor Rodney Garratt provided the participants with an overview of how CBDC would interplay with data privacy in times of digital payments and a growing fintech payment activity. He remarked how relevant is for payment instruments’ users that their data privacy is well protected. This takes place amid a challenging context where market structure (e.g. bigtech companies) could be misleading competition, while consumers’ data is monetized without possible social welfare gains. Professor Garratt presented a theoretical environment to explain how a privacy-preserving CBDC could support public policy goals of monetizing and safeguarding data. He identified several scenarios, noting that a CBDC system handling a “data monopoly” could be purposeful for supporting market competition and optimal social welfare related to monetizing payments data.

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

The Conference dedicated three academic sessions to discuss research and policy papers on CBDCs. 

Session I

The initial academic session were devoted to the attributes of CBDCs as means of payment and its value to end users. 

In the first paper of the session, authors deepened on the analysis of attributes needed for the issuance of a CBDC in Japan, being these: the preferences for mobile payments, the utility of credit cards, preference for banknotes and the valuation of time. Through a survey, the study shown that respondents valued short settlement time, and mobile payments, also regarding to payment instruments it were valued credit cards and cash. Also it was shown that if introduced, a hypothetical mobile version of noncash payment method that required a short time transaction time would be highly ranked, and that policy tools should be utilized to encourage the use of this mean by a consumer with zero amount of financial assets holdings and an elderly household head as well as for the sake of universal access.  

In the second paper was discussed how the demand for payment services and consumer welfare could serve as drivers for the introduction of a CBDC in Canada. The study was motivated by two possible conditions on why the central bank should issue a CBDC: the reduction or total elimination of physical cash and the inroads that private cryptocurrencies could make. The work deepens on the main characteristics of consumer demand for the usage and adoption of payment methods and the usage of a hypothetical CBDC. The results showed that the main drivers of payment usage are transaction costs, easing of use, rewards and merchants acceptance. On the welfare implications, it was mentioned that a cash-like CBDC provides lower welfare gain, skewed towards older and less educated. Finally the CBDC adoption, depending on the features, would capture from 19 to 25 percent of the market share.

The third paper of the session presented a comparison between a general-purpose CBDC and the existing central bank payment services, where the analysis was guided to the potential benefits from a point of view of payments systems. The characteristics analyzed were:Accessibility, anonymity, bearer instrumentality, independence, operational efficiency, programmability and service availability. Results shown that CBDC will never be able to fully replicate all characteristics of cash and RTGS simultaneously. Also, in certain circumstances, CBDC has the potential to be an improvement over both existing modes of payment. Finally, because there are tradeoffs, central banks will need to decide which features a CBDC should improve upon and choose the archetype that can best achieve these goals.

Session II

The second CBDCs session focused on alternative frameworks, practical experience and possible developments of wholesale and retail CBDC. 

The first paper of the session investigated on the main drivers, approaches and technologies related to a CBDC. Authors constructed a database of CBDC projects, speeches and search interest, to then discuss how and why central banks’ approaches and technologies differ and finally assessed the economic and institutional factors behind these differences. After performing the analysis, authors found that interest in CBDC is rising among different economies and its issuance is imminent in some countries. Also it was found that a CBDC is more likely to be issued in countries with higher mobile use and innovation capacity, and that countries where the informal economy is larger are more likely to issue a retail CBDC. 

In the second paper of the session, authors presented the main lessons learned for the e-peso, the Uruguayan CBDC pilot. It was mentioned that in order to launch the project it was needed to consider legal, security and technology aspects; in this regard, the current legal framework was sufficient for the issuance of electronic bills, the cyber and information risks were mitigated as well as other risks (the financial and reputational ones) and the testing conducted on the new system was successful. The first lesson was related to the reputation of the system which was the stem of the money flower and allowed the new petal to growth. The second lesson regarded to the motivations which mainly were the boost of financial inclusion and cultural dimensions. The third lesson involved the technology aspects or the systems where it was concluded that the simplicity of the system would conduct better results. Fourth lesson was linked to the operational risks. For the fifth lesson it was found that the launching of a token-based CBDC would be the better decision. The sixth lesson regarded to how the pilot participants used the e-peso. The last lesson learned was related on how a CBDC compliment and compete with other means of payment as cash and bank deposits.

In the last paper of the session was discussed the implications for of the issuance of a wholesale CBDC based on DLT, for financial market infrastructures in the EU system. The motivation of this work was that the issuance of such a CBDC seemed to be the most appropriate solution for exchanges inside the payments network, as it would provide a perfectly liquid and credit risk free payment solution. The aspects identified where possible improvement can be done within the existing financial market infrastructures where: interoperability, accessibility, availability, programmability, liquidity optimization, reconciliation, multi-currency transactions and security. Authors concluded that although it is difficult to foresee a short-term scenario where a radical change is done on the nowadays technology used by the existing infrastructures, a gradual transition to new technology solutions, integrating new functionalities based on technologies as DLT, will offer new possibilities to their participants.

Session III

This session was devoted to the implications of the introduction of a CBDC on financial intermediation and the macroeconomic outcomes. 

The session began with an assessment of the impact of the issuance of a CBDC on private banks. The study was made considering an account-based CBDC with accounts in the central bank, available for everyone. During the presentation it was discussed some push-backs in the introduction of a CBDC such as the creation of an uneven field for private banks and a negative impact in bank lending, as well the response to them. Authors also discussed the effects on deposits that CBDC could cause as the increasing of financial inclusion, the substitution of cash into deposits which would increase the available deposit funding. Regarding to the lending effects, it was noted that as long as CBDC rate be lower than the interest on reserves, CBDC would not have effects on the lending. As results from assessment it was mentioned that there is a need to focus more on design, flexibility, incentives, broad policy goals, and less on whether payment system is located in public or private sector.

In the second paper reviewed was investigated the possible success of a CBDC within the marketplace for digital monies. For this end, authors took a microeconomic approach providing an overview of the existing payment ecosystems to then derive a systemic taxonomy of CBDCs that distinguishes between new payment objects and new payment systems which permits different CBDC proposal to be categorized. The analysis made was guided by two lines: allocative efficiency and attractiveness for users. Results showed that there is no justification for digital cash substitutes from both lines, instead the analysis opens the perspective for a retail payment system organized or orchestrated by the central bank without a new, independent payment object. 

The last paper presented in this session deepened on how a CBDC would unwind on an open economy. The main drivers to this study were the challenges that private innovative payment solution impose to central authorities, the covid19 transmission through cash, the rising interest among central banks on CBDCs and large scale tests of China’s digital currency, in addition it was noted that the current investigations mostly focused on studies on closed-economies issues. The main findings of this work were the CBDC amplification of intertanionall spillovers due to shocks, which can be reduced with capital controls and flexible CBDC interest rates. Also, it was mentioned that CBDC in one hand, increases asymmetries in the international monetary system, and in the other, reduces monetary policy autonomy in foreign economies. 

Financial Market Infrastructures 

This session focused on the monitoring of financial market infrastructures, putting emphasis on risk management and design considerations.

The session began with the presentation of an assessment of financial market infrastructures critical functions. In this paper, authors proposed a set of top-down network-based indicators to assess criticality of functions pertaining to the access to payment systems, central securities depositories and securities settlement services, central clearing services, and trading venues using financial market infrastructures data collected for the purposes of resolution planning. It was concluded that as the indicators proposed are built from on a “top-down” approach, they can naturally be part of broader analyses focusing on achieving an enhanced understanding of potential consequences of the disruption to critical functions beyond what each individual agent can observe and can also accommodate considerations in this respect under systemic crises.

The second paper of the session presented empirical results to evidence if central counterparties (CCPs) reduced counterparty and liquidity risks. In this work, authors compare networks of transactions agreed to be cleared and settled by a CCP with those to be cleared and settled bilaterally. The dataset studied was built by the conciliation of two non-public datasets from different sources, Banco de la República and the sole local Colombian CCP; the transactions and exposures compiled were from 2011 to 2018.  Results showed that the option to clear bilaterally creates two alternate emerging economic structures within the same market, in addition, financial institutions interacting under the central clearing option behave differently from those that interact under the bilateral clearing option. Also it was mentioned that the structure corresponding to central clearing shows that the interposition of the CCP reduces liquidity risk in the transaction stage while reducing counterparty risk afterward, being consistent with the purpose of the intermediation role of a CCP.

Finally, in the last paper presented during this session, authors made a network analysis on a global payments network using data from SWIFT, providing an extension to 2018 from its previous 2014 work in order to get insight on the current topological changes of the network. It was found that We found that overall traffic continues to grow and that countries remain globally connected in the payment networks throughout the period of analysis. This, despite changes in the geopolitical landscape and regulatory pressure. In addition, the most recent data available show some evidence of the development of additional regional communities, and changes in specific countries' community membership mirrors shifts in the trading relationships that reflect wider geo-political developments.

Payments analytics

The sixth session focused on advance analytics, as deep learning and network science, for oversight and policy purposes.

For the first paper of this session, it was presented a methodology based on reinforcement learning (RI) to approximate the policy rules of banks participating in a high-value payment system. RI falls in the category of agent-based modelling, where through a reward function, agents learn the best strategy to interact with a given environment; for this work agents have the goal to develop the best policy for the choice of amount of liquidity provided to the system at the beginning of the day. It was shown that in a simplified two-agent setting, these do learn the optimal policy that minimizes the cost of processing their individual payments. Also in more complex settings, both agents learn to reduce their liquidity costs. The results provided proved the applicability of RL to estimate best-response functions in real-world strategic games.

In the second paper reviewed, authors developed an unsupervised methodology in order to detect anomalous behavior in the Ecuadorian high-value payment system. Through the implementation of an autoencoder, an special case of a feed-forward neural networks, different models were trained to reconstruct the payment system flows between participants. Such an approach permits the model to capture the usual system’s behavior and thus flag the time intervals which deviate from the normal conduct. Results shown that the autoencoder was able to detect a wide range of anoma- lies in a payment system, ranging from the unusual behavior of individual banks to systemic changes in the overall structure of the payments network. Also, it was found that these novel techniques are robust enough to support the monitoring of payments’ and market infrastructures’ functioning, but need to be accompanied by the expert judgement of payments overseers.

Finally, the third paper presented the evolution of the Colombian mobile payments wallet, Movii, as a network of transfers among its users. This work was motivated by the promotion and encouragement that mobile payments can have in the provision of payment services, specially in P2P (peer-to-peer) transactions, and by the benefits that these means can have for the (unbanked) upper-middle and lower class population. Results showed an overtime increase in the complexity of the network formed by Movii users, which can be likely linked to the adoption of Movii’s mobile wallet, which results in users finding new ways to use mobile payments beyond person-to-person (P2P) transfers; it was also noted that during the pandemic the number of transactions increased exponentially. Authors mentioned that results are useful for financial authorities in their quest for understanding, monitoring, regulating, supervising, and overseeing retail payment systems, and that this type of means of payments may help to enhance poverty reduction programs and disaster recovery and emergency responses.

Retail payments issues

The last Conference session was devoted to show recent developments in payment systems and the factors that affects electronic payments adoption.

In the first paper of the session was studied the relationship between the level of economic development and the incidence of three forms of payments across countries: the incidence of bank accounts, digital payments, and mobile money accounts among the adult populations across countries in the MENA’s region. This work presented simple statistical tests of leapfrogging, the phenomenon by which poor countries surpass rich countries in the provision of payments mechanisms. The results showed that the Middle East and North Africa region, on average, suffers from a notable underperformance gap across all observed stages of payment systems development. Findings suggests that the region suffers from structural impediments to the development of its financial and banking systems that go well beyond the adoption of digital-technology tools.

Next, in the second paper reviewed authors studied the adoption of e-technology in Kenya, and its effects on business finances and financial developing by analyzing small and medium sized enterprises. For the study 1222 firms, 669 restaurants and 553 pharmacies, were selected.  Authors found that adoption is hampered by the combination of information and transaction cost barriers, where, business owners who are more transparency averse are less likely to adopt the technology. Also, it was found that access to the e-payment technology improves access to mobile loans, both at the extensive and intensive margins, and reduces business safety concerns. Finally, the effects on business finance are especially pronounced in small firms, who also improve their overall financial integration and experience a reduction in sales volatility.

The last paper presented an analysis on the promotion of electronic payments in Colombia. The work was motivated by the recent Colombian government’s agenda on the promotion to access to financial products across the country. This work undertaken three exercises to get a better understanding of the drivers behind Colombia’s cash-dependency and the most effective governmental actions to enhance electronics payments. First, the evaluation of binding constraints behind the high levels of cash usage in the economy. Second, it was reported the results of a survey-based qualitative analysis that studies 16 central banks in Latin America, which demonstrates that there is a generalized implementation of policies to enhance the use of electronic payments targeted on financial inclusion, reducing informality, and increasing transparency. Third, it was analyzed five policy recommendations to improve the dynamism of electronic payments in the country, considering the technical correctness as well as the political and administrative challenges. As result from the exercises performed, authors concluded that there was a need to generate regulatory adjustments and promote a strategy to incentivize the acceptance and development of efficient electronic payments.


Tuesday, June 15

Welcome remarks
Manuel Ramos Francia, Director General, Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA) 
Leonardo Villar Gómez, Governor, Banco de la República de Colombia

Keynote lecture “Payments: Fees, Funding, and Fungibility” by James McAndrews, CEO and Chairman of the Board of The Narrow Bank
Moderated by Andrés Velasco, Banco de la República

Academic session 1: Interchange Fees
Chaired by Raúl Morales-Resendiz, CEMLA

This session will focus on interchange fees and their relevance for the development of retail payments markets. 


Wednesday, June 16

Keynote lecture “Monetizing Privacy with Central Bank Digital Currencies” by Rodney Garratt, Maxwell C. and Mary Pellish Professor of Economics at the University of California Santa Barbara
Moderated by Serafín Martínez-Jaramillo, CEMLA

Academic session 2: Central Bank Digital Currency (I)
Chaired by Carlos Arango, Banco de la República

This session will focus on the attributes of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) as a means of payment and its value to end users. 


Academic session 3: Central Bank Digital Currency (II)
Chaired by Raúl Morales-Reséndiz, CEMLA

This session will focus on alternative frameworks, practical experience and possible developments of wholesale and retail CBDC.


Thursday, June 17

Academic session 4: Central Bank Digital Currency (III)
Chaired by Carlos Arango, Banco de la República

This session will focus on the implications of the introduction of CBDC on financial intermediation and macroeconomic outcomes. 

Invited Talk by David Andolfatto. Assessing the Impact of Central Bank Digital Currency on Private Banks.


Academic session 5: Financial Market Infrastructures 
Chaired by Serafín Martínez Jaramillo, CEMLA


Friday, June 18

Academic session 6: Payments Analytics
Moderated by Raúl Morales-Resendiz, CEMLA

This session will focus on advanced analytics, including deep learning and network science, for oversight and policy purposes. 


Academic session 7: Retail payments issues
Chaired by Carlos Arango, Banco de la República

This session will focus on developments in payment systems and factors affecting the adoption of electronic payments.


Closing of the Conference by Banco de la República de Colombia and CEMLA

AvatarJames McAndrews
CEO and Chairman of the Board of The Narrow Bank

James McAndrews is an economist specializing in money and banking. He is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of TNB USA Inc., a Connecticut chartered bank whose objective is to provide high-yielding safe deposits to institutional investors; it is organized as a narrow bank. In 2020 Mr. McAndrews is serving as a consultant to the South African Reserve Bank regarding topics in payment economics. Previously he was executive vice president and head of the Research and Statistics Group at The Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2010-2016. Mr. McAndrews’ research focuses on monetary policy implementation, the liquidity of banks and markets, and monetary and payment arrangements in U.S. history. He holds both a bachelor’s and a doctorate degree in economics from the University of Iowa.

AvatarCarlos A. Arango-Arango
Banco de la República (Colombia)

Carlos is a principal researcher and adviser in the Payment Systems and Banking Operations Department at the Central Bank of Colombia. His current research focuses on money, banking and payments. He has previously worked at both the World Bank and the Canadian Central Bank. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

AvatarDiego Scalise
Banca d'Italia

Diego Scalise is Senior Economist at the Bank of Italy. He received his Ph.D. from the Catholic University of Milan, and his Msc from Pompeu Fabra University. Diego has held a visiting appointment at the University of Zurich and served as an economist at the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund.

AvatarEmerson Erik Schmitz
Banco Central do Brasil

Emerson Erik Schmitz (Brazil, 1978) holds a PhD in Finance at Tilburg University/The Netherlands (2019), besides B.Sc. And M.Sc. in Economics and two MBAs degrees (Economic Analysis and Project Management) in prestigious Brazilian universities. He built a solid career in the Brazilian pension funds` segment in early 2000s, with three awards granted to technical publications in this field. Since 2010 he holds a position at the Central Bank of Brazil in which his is currently Head of the Division of Applied Research at the Department of Competition and Financial Market Structure. He is responsible for applied research related to financial innovations and how it can trigger competition, reduce entry barriers, and increase access to finance. He has papers published in the Central Bank of Brazil and National Bank of Belgium working paper series. Academically, he is interest in empirical banking, financial intermediation and economic growth, financial regulation and the impact of digitalization in the industrial organization of financial markets.

AvatarRodney Garratt
Maxwell C. and Mary Pellish Professor of Economics at the University of California Santa Barbara

Rod Garratt holds the Maxwell C. and Mary Pellish Chair in Economics at the University of California Santa Barbara. He has served as a Technical Advisor to the Bank for International Settlements, a Research Advisor to the Bank of England and is a former Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. During his time at the FRBNY he co-led the Virtual Currency Working Group for the Federal Reserve System. After leaving the FRBNY he consulted for Payments Canada and R3 on Project Jasper: a proof of concept for a wholesale interbank payment system that uses distributed ledger technology. Professor Garratt received his undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo and his PhD from Cornell University. He has published in the top economics journals including Econometrica, the American Economic Review and the Journal of Political Economy. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Financial Market Infrastructures, the Journal of Network Theory in Finance and Digital Finance.

AvatarHiroshi Fujiki
Bank of Japan

Hiroshi Fujiki is a professor at Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan, and before that at the Bank of Japan, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies. His recent research relates to the choice of payment methods.

AvatarKim P. Huynh
Bank of Canada

Kim is a Senior Research Advisor. His research interests include industrial economics and applied econometrics.

AvatarJesse Leigh Maniff
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Jesse Leigh Maniff is a Payments System Research Specialist in the Payment Strategies Division at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Jesse received an A.B. in public policy from Brown University and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School, where she served as a contributing editor of the Michigan Journal of Law Reform. Her research focuses on digital currencies and their underlying technologies, consumer protection and antitrust concerns in financial services, and empirical legal studies.

AvatarJon Frost
Bank for International Settlements

Jon Frost is a Senior Economist in Innovation and the Digital Economy at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). He conducts policy-oriented research on fintech and digital innovation. He has published on fintech, big tech, central bank digital currencies, capital flows, macroprudential policy and economic inequality. Previously, Jon worked at the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Dutch central bank (DNB), VU University in Amsterdam and in the private sector in Germany. Jon holds a PhD in economics from the University of Groningen, an MA in economics from the University of Munich and a BA/BS from the University of Washington. He is a research affiliate of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the University of Cambridge, and a Board member in the FinTech@CSAIL initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

AvatarJosé Manuel Marqués
Banco de España

José Manuel Marqués Sevillano is Head of the Financial Innovation Division at the Bank of Spain. His main responsibilities include analyzing the main changes in the financial system and their implications for economic and financial authorities: Big Tech, Fintech, Crypto tokens, CBDC, use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in financial services, DLT and Blockchain or the incorporation of ESG factors in the financial sector. He joined the Bank of Spain in 1996 and has held various positions in the Research Department and in International Affairs, including responsibility for the International Financial Markets Division. He has written several articles on financial markets, financial stability, macro-financial analysis, asset valuation or sustainable finance. He has participated in the G20 Study Group on Sustainable Finance and represents the Bank of Spain in the secretariat of the High-Level Working Group at CBDC, in the Eurosystem Financial Innovation Forum, in the CEMLA Fintech Forum and in the European Forum of Innovation Facilitators. He has a degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Zaragoza and an MsC in Economics from the Pompeu Fabra University.

AvatarAdolfo Sarmiento
Banco Central del Uruguay

Adolfo Sarmiento. Phd in Economics, expert in financial sector and payment system (CBDC and financial innovation). Head of Economic Policy of Central Bank of Uruguay, external advisor on Central Banks Digital Currencies projects of the International Monetary Fund. Professor and researcher.

AvatarJosé Luis Romero Ugarte
Banco de España

José Luis is an Economist working as Innovation specialist at the Financial Innovation Division, where he monitors financial innovation developments, such as DLT, and assessing their potential impact on the financial system and on the Banco de España’s duties. Before joining the Financial Innovation Division, he worked in the Payment System Department, identifying and analysing the innovations in this field.

AvatarDavid Andolfatto
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

David Andolfatto serves as a senior vice president in the Research Division at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He was a professor of economics at the University of Waterloo (1991 to 2000) and Simon Fraser University (2000 to 2009) before joining the Fed in July 2009. Mr. Andolfatto has published several articles in leading economic journals; including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy and the Journal of Economic Theory. He has been invited as a visiting scholar to central banks around the world, including the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan, La Banca de la Republica (Colombia) and De Nederlandsche Bank, along with a number of Federal Reserve banks. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Bank of Canada Fellowship Award for his contributions in the area of money, banking and monetary policy. Mr. Andolfatto is a native of Vancouver, Canada, and received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Western Ontario in 1994.

AvatarPeter Bofinger
University Wuerzburg

Peter Bofinger is a Professor for international and monetary economics at the University of Würzburg. From 2004 to 2019 he was a member of the German Council of Economic Experts, which is an independent advisory body to the German federal government. Previously he had been Vice-President of the University of Würzburg and an economist at the Deutsche Bundesbank. Peter Bofinger is a Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research London and a Member of the INET (Institute for New Economic Thinking) Commission on Global Economic Transformation. A focus of his research is on monetary theory and policy with a focus on the digitalization of money and the implications of alternative models for the financial sphere (real models versus monetary models) for the analysis of interest rates and international capital flows.

AvatarThomas Haas
University Wuerzburg

Thomas Haas is a PhD candidate at the University of Würzburg and a research and teaching associate of Professor Peter Bofinger for Monetary Policy and International Economics. His research interests are monetary theory and policy, banking, and the digitalization of money.

AvatarMassimo Minesso Ferrari
European Central Bank (ECB)

Massimo Ferrari is an economist in the International Policy Analysis Division of the European Central Bank (ECB) and a research fellow of the Complexity Lab in Economics. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Catholic University of Milan. His research interests are mainly in macro-finance, international macroeconomics and monetary economics.

AvatarJose Fique

Jose is Financial Stability Expert at an EU agency. Prior to that, he worked at the European Central Bank and Bank of Canada on financial stability-related matters. His research interests include financial networks, macroprudential policy and other financial stability-related topics. He holds a PhD from Indiana University.

AvatarCarlos León
Banco de la República, Colombia

As Senior Researcher at the Central Bank of Colombia's Financial Infrastructure Oversight Department, Carlos León is responsible for investigating and developing methodologies for comprehensively overseeing local market's financial institutions and infrastructures. His current focus is on studying financial networks (e.g., interbank lending, large value payment systems, clearing and settlement systems, retail payment systems) and applying machine learning methods for anomaly detection. Financial stability, complexity, and paytech are among his interests. He is also Guest Researcher at the Tilburg University’s Department of Finance (The Netherlands), and undergraduate Professor at Universidad del Rosario (Colombia). Prior working experience includes positions as Researcher for the Central Bank of Colombia's Foreign Reserves Department and for the Operations and Market Development Department, and Head of the Risk Management Group at Colombia's Ministry of Finance-Public Credit Directorate. He has also worked as Short-term Expert for the International Monetary Fund. He received his Ph.D. from Tilburg University (The Netherlands). He holds a M.Sc. in Banking and Finance from HEC-Université de Lausanne (Switzerland); a M.A. in International Economics, and a B.A. in Finance and International Relations from Externado de Colombia University (Colombia). He has publications in refereed journals that include, Latin American Journal of Central Banking, Journal of Financial Stability, Physica A, Quantitative Finance, Research in International Business and Finance, The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Emerging Markets Finance & Trade, Journal of Financial Market Infrastructures, Revista de Economía del Rosario, Lecturas de Economía, Cuadernos de Economía, Revista de Economía Institucional, and Ensayos Sobre Política Económica. He is Associate Editor of the Latin American Journal of Central Banking and the Journal of Financial Market Infrastructures.

AvatarKimmo Soramäki
FNA Ltd.

Kimmo Soramäki is the Founder and CEO of Financial Network Analytics (FNA) and the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Network Theory in Finance. Kimmo started his career as an economist at the Bank of Finland where in 1997, he developed the first simulator for interbank payment systems. In 2004, while at the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, he was among the first to apply methods from network theory to improve our understanding of financial interconnectedness. During the financial crisis of 2007-2008, Kimmo advised several central banks, including the Bank of England and European Central Bank, in modeling interconnections and systemic risk. This work led him to found FNA in 2013 to solve important issues around financial risk and for exploring the complex financial networks that play a continually larger role in the world around us. Kimmo holds a Doctor of Science in Operations Research and a Master of Science in Economics (Finance), both from Aalto University in Helsinki.

AvatarFrancisco Rivadeneyra
Bank of Canada

Francisco Rivadeneyra in the Director for CBDC & FinTech Policy and Research at the Bank of Canada. In this role he leads a team developing policy advice in areas of central bank digital currency, electronic money and payments, and the implications for central banks of broader financial innovations. He also is an active researcher working in the intersection of technology, payments infrastructures and finance. His current research studies the security and convenience trade-off of digital currencies and the use of artificial intelligence in the liquidity management problem of commercial banks. His previous work has been on the management of domestic debt and foreign reserves for the Government of Canada.
Mr. Rivadeneyra holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago.

AvatarAjit Desai
Bank of Canada

Currently working as a data scientist at research division in the Bank of Canada. My primary research interests include application of AI and ML in economics and finance. My current research projects are (1) deep reinforcement learning for payments system, (2) supervised ML for time series forecasting and (3) unsupervised ML for anomaly detection in large-value transactions data. In the past, my research was focused on developing scalable algorithms for large-scale modeling, simulation.

AvatarJeniffer Rubio Abril
Banco Central del Ecuador

PhD(c) in Economics, Master in Applied Economics from the University of Alcala in Spain and Postgraduate in Finance from the Simón Bolívar University in Ecuador. 10 years of experience in research economic centers and Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE). Actually, works as Coordinator of the Payment Systems Risk at BCE. She has developed several academic papers among them: the application of artificial intelligence and network analysis in the payment system, impact evaluation of public policies, analysis of factors in access to credit and housing in Ecuador.

AvatarClément Gévaudan
The World Bank

Clément Gévaudan works with governments and international organizations to strengthen the linkages within science and innovation ecosystems. He currently supports the World Bank Group to produce flagship knowledge products and project operations on digital transformation in Africa and the Middle East. Throughout his work, Clément collaborated with a wide network of specialized firms, research institutions, public agencies and innovators in Africa, Asia and Europe. In March 2018, he co-directed the Global Development Conference on 'Science, Technology and Innovation for Development' in New Delhi, India. Clément is a development economist who graduated from CERDI, a research center on international development based at the Université Clermont Auvergne (UCA) in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

AvatarBurak Uras
Tilburg University

Burak Uras is an Associate Professor of Economics at Tilburg University. His research focuses on Development Economics and Macroeconomics.  One strand of his work investigates the impact of finance on macroeconomic dynamics in general equilibrium models.  Another strand of his research aims to understand the micro-level barriers to firm-level investment, organization, and productivity. His research was published in academic outlets, such as Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance and Macroeconomic Dynamics, and has been supported by research grants from DFID (UK) and EU's Marie-Curie Foundation. Dr. Uras holds a PhD in Economics from Washington University in St Louis.

AvatarCésar Pabón Camacho
Harvard Kennedy School

Cesar Pabón is economic advisor to the Vice President and Chancellor of the Government of Colombia. Previously, he worked as advisor to the Minister of Planning, where he coordinated the implementation for the full adoption of an OECD regulatory reform at the Executive Branch. He also worked as Macroeconomic Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Finance of Colombia and at Fedesarrollo, a think tank based in Bogota, where he was involved in the elaboration of macroeconomic reports and research papers. Cesar holds a master's degree in Public Administration in International Development (MPA-ID) at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a dual master’s degree in Economics and Public Policy from Universidad de Los Andes.