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The UK’s path to digital inclusion
The world has become increasingly digital over the past few decades, with many people relying on a digital device, whether it is a phone, tablet, laptop or even a smart-watch for work, managing their finances, entertainment and socialising. The pandemic highlighted the positive impact a digital world can play to keep us connected and informed in difficult times. However, it is not a level playing field, with many unable to enjoy the benefits and risk being left behind.

Globally 3.7bn people are digitally excluded, that’s nearly half the world’s population. In the UK, one of the countries leading the digital revolution, 10 million people, 15% of the population, lack the basic skills needed for the digital world, and rely on cash and it is thought nearly 7 million will remain digitally excluded if nothing is done to help them.

This presents an urgent challenge for industry and policymakers: how to ensure that everyone benefits from the inevitable digital future? In this webinar, we will discuss the UK’s path to digital inclusion and how the transition from cash to digital payments can play an important role.

The online event will feature:

-New research presented by John Howells, CEO of LINK, will shed light on the use of cash and digital payments in the UK and Europe, and the risks to inclusion.

-Ruth Wandhӧfer, Chair PSR Panel, who will provide some insights into the barriers to the take-up of digital payments and the direction needed to ensure digital inclusion.

-Natasha de Terán, Financial Services Consumer Panel, who will discuss the inclusion possibilities and challenges that are presented by a Central Bank Digital Currency.

-Dr Sarah Walton, who will explore how a more effective approach to digital identity can transform inclusion.

Feb 9, 2022 10:00 AM in London

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John Howells
John is the CEO of LINK, the national payment system that connects consumers to the UK’s 55,000 ATMs, providing safe and secure access to £80 billion of cash each year. LINK plays a key role in managing adequate access to cash for consumers as the UK moves increasingly towards digital payments. John is a member of the PSR’s Panel, LINK's Board representative on the LINK Consumer Council and part of the Access to Cash Review. John’s previous roles include working for Capgemini, as lead for consulting and technology support for Central Government, and Lloyds Bank.
Ruth Wandhöfer
Chair @Payment Systems Regulator Panel
Ruth has wide ranging experience in payments, banking, market infrastructure and investment in the UK, Europe and internationally. She has gained considerable experience as board member of new and established organisations (Digital Identity Net, LSEG, Permanent TSB) as well as chair of working groups and multi-stakeholder forums (European Payments Council, European Banking Federation etc). She has had considerable engagement in regulation and policy as an executive leader and more recently as an advisor. Ruth was previously a member of the Bank of England’s RTGS Renewal Stakeholder Advisory Group and of the Payment Strategy Forum (2015 – 2016). Ruth has a strong interest and knowledge of fintech and regtech. She is a Partner in a venture capital fund (Gauss) that invests in start-ups globally. She has acquired various accolades including the Women in Fintech Powerlist, Fintech Power 50 and previously Sunday Times’ 35 Women Under 35.
Natasha de Terán
@Financial Services Consumer Panel
Natasha de Terán works at the intersection between financial services and technology. A public policy and communications expert, she is the co-author of The Payoff: How Changing the Way We Pay Changes Everything (2021), a non resident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment and serves on the PSR Panel, the Financial Services Consumer Panel and the Bank of England CBDC Engagement Forum.
Dr Sarah Walton
Founder @Counterpoint Digital Consulting
Dr Sarah Walton is a digital consultant with 25 years’ experience working with the digitally excluded. Founder of Counterpoint Digital, she’s worked in digital ID and digital transformation in health, finance, entertainment, government and start-ups. She’s also an agile coach, personal development coach and founder of Soul Business, supporting mindful businesses to innovate, transform and grow.
David Fagleman (Moderator)
Director @Enryo
David has worked in payments since 2015 when he joined Cash Services UK. He became Head of Policy and Research and was part of the transfer to UK Finance, where he took the role of Principal (Payments) in 2019. Prior to this, he worked at the innovation foundation Nesta, the Westminster-based think tank ResPublica and for Rachel Reeves MP. He co-founded Enryo in 2020, an independent consultancy designed to support the financial services industry as it navigates times of change.