GSMA director general Mats Granryd (pictured) and Ant Financial CEO Eric Jing were among executives appointed to a United Nations Task Force charged with assessing the use of financial technology to drive progress towards the body’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The group aims to investigate how platforms developed for mobile and digital finance systems can be used to meet the broader agenda of the SDG initiative, in addition to schemes to further boost financial inclusion.

Granryd and Jing join members from regulators, mobile money providers, banks and UN representatives. Other panel members include: Natalie Jabangwe, CEO of mobile payment company EcoCash; World Economic Forum MD Richard Samans; and governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The group is co-chaired by Maria Ramos, CEO of Africa-focused bank Absa Group, and UN development programme administrator Achim Steiner.

Launching the initiative, Ramos said: “Entire financial systems are being transformed by the digital revolution. We have an historic opportunity to ensure that what emerges are financial systems that put people at the centre.”

Granryd added: “Rapid developments in digital financial services mean we now have a great opportunity to expand financial inclusion to many hundreds of millions more people, and I am honoured to be part of a Task Force dedicated to accelerating progress in this area, as well as financing the SDGs more broadly.”

“Mobile’s unprecedented global scale provides a platform to bring secure digital payment and financing services to people in all corners of the world, helping to reduce poverty and inequality.”

Members will meet for the first time in January, with its first report expected to be published in September 2019.