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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

Improving Digital Financial Literacy Through Public-Private Initiatives

By Grant Duthie, Central Queensland University, Y20, 2022

Grant is studying at Central Queensland University. His policy paper focuses on Improving Digital Financial Literacy Through Public-Private Initiatives.

Executive Summary

Digital financial literacy (DFL) is receiving increasing global attention for its role in improving financial inclusion or access to financial services among underserved or excluded populations (Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, 2016). With many Australians reporting low or very low levels of financial knowledge and personal exposure to fraud, there are concerns about whether vulnerable populations will be excluded from participation in an increasingly digital financial landscape (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, 2021). While financial literacy programmes can address financial exclusion, the focus has shifted to DFL as individuals will need knowledge of digital financial risks and protective measures, digital financial products and services, and consumer rights and redress processes to participate in the digital economy effectively (Lyons & Kass-Hanna, 2021). Accordingly, this paper will outline the current state of DFL in Australia and propose recommendations for the Australian Federal Government to mitigate issues of digital financial exclusion while supporting vulnerable Australians better in navigating the increasingly complex and challenging digital financial landscape. Despite the Australian Government’s National Financial Capability Strategy, there is a distinct policy vacuum in improving coordination and collaboration across diverse sectors on DFL initiatives and outcomes-based reporting (Treasury, 2022). The proposal involves two different elements. Firstly, it proposes the establishment of a governance body for coordinating, monitoring, evaluating, and promoting best-practice initiatives across diverse sectors to better engage vulnerable Australians on DFL. Secondly, it proposes producing a biennial report to address measurement gaps and drive accountability, transparency, and ongoing review of key performance indicators on the issue.

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