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Kazakhstan actively developing digital financial infrastructure

The National Bank of Kazakhstan, together with the banking community, is implementing a number of new initiatives on the digitization of financial services such as its launch of the interbank Instant Payment System, a system which allows consumers to execute online payments instantly via a mobile number. The regulator is also planning an online insurance scheme that will reduce the cost of insurance services and widen the accessibility of such services to include residents in remote regions of the country.

Two of the more interesting initiatives include the launch of a pilot biometrics project that will allow financial service consumers to be identified through biometric parameters. This is expected to increase access to financial services by allowing consumers to conduct financial transactions remotely via smartphones, tablets and computers. The regulator is also working to develop proposals for open API standards. Once established, these standards would create an environment in which FinTech firms would be more easily able to create innovative solutions designed to expand financial services as well as make them easier and more convenient for consumers.

It is important to note that the regulator is also developing systematic measures to effectively counter cyber-attacks and fraud in the digital environment, including through the creation of the National Bank of Competence Center, an operational center for ensuring cybersecurity in the financial sector. Work is also being carried out to form a system for exchanging data with banks about information security incidents, including information about violations and failures in information systems.