Video On Demand

The Role of Fast Payment Systems in Addressing Financial Inclusion

April 19, 2024 • 9:30 – 11:00 am EDT

Please join the CSIS Scholl Chair in International Business for the report launch of its latest paper Uptake, Use, and Inclusion Gains from Fast Payment Systems: Early Comparative Data, and a panel discussion on the role of fast payment systems in addressing financial inclusion for consumers and SMEs. As finance grows increasingly digital, countries around the world are putting financial inclusion as one of their main priorities. Countries took a variety of paths to financial and digital inclusion with varying claims to success. In recent years, FPS has become the go-to approach for payments modernization, with some countries opting for an increased role of the state in delivering digital payment services. This public panel discussion will present new research that explores the role of digital payments in advancing financial inclusion and the impact of FPS adoption in four countries: India, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Thailand.


Holti Banka is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist with the Payment Systems Development Group at the World Bank. Over the past ten years, his work covers different aspects of retail payments including fast payments, CBDC, government payments, national payment strategies, cost measurement of payment instruments, payments infrastructure interoperability, and intersection of payments, fintech and financial inclusion. Holti has published in several academic journals and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Payments Strategy and Systems. He received his PhD in International Development/Economic Policy from the University of Maryland.

Barbara Kotschwar is founder and principal of Economic Insights, a consultancy focused on international trade, investment and the digital economy and she teaches political economy and Latin American studies at Georgetown University. She was previously Executive Director of the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute.  Dr. Kotschwar has worked at various international organizations, including the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and Organization of American States and has advised governments across the globe on trade, investment and regional integration. At the Peterson Institute for International Economics her research focused on trade, investment and regional integration as well as the political economy of Latin America. Her work on trade, investment, the digital economy and gender equity has been widely cited. She holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins SAIS and undergraduate degrees in economics and political science from McGill University.

Kati Suominen is an adjunct fellow with the Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and focuses especially on digitization, disruptive technologies, and trade. She is also the founder and CEO of the Los Angeles-based Nextrade Group, which helps governments, multilateral development banks, and Fortune 500 technology companies enable trade through technology. Nextrade's clients include the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Mastercard, Visa, Google, and eBay, among many others. Dr. Suominen has built dozens of data and analytical products and pilot initiatives, as well as eight global initiatives and public-private partnerships to enable digital trade, the most recent being the Alliance for eTrade Development I and II between 14 leading companies and USAID to enable small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) e-commerce in developing nations. She also serves as adjunct professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Earlier in her career, she was a trade economist at the Inter-American Development Bank. Suominen is the author and editor of over 100 papers and 10 peer-reviewed books with leading academic presses, most recently Revolutionizing World Trade: How Disruptive Technologies Open Opportunities for All (Stanford University Press, 2019). She holds a BA from the University of Arkansas, an MA from Boston University, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and a PhD from the University of California San Diego. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

This event is made possible by generous support of Mastercard Policy Center for the Digital Economy.

Contact Information

Kati Suominen
Adjunct Fellow (Non-resident), Scholl Chair in International Business

Barbara Kotschwar

Founder and Principal, Economic Insights

Holti Banka

Senior Financial Sector Specialist, Payment Systems Development Group at the World Bank