Financial inclusion is an action that can bring population out of poverty while boosting economic growth more comprehensively, sustainably and fairly.
It is not just about how to pay and receive payments when banking structure is lacking. It is also about making sure that wherever you are in the world, you have safer and simple access and financial opportunities.
Financial inclusion is an enormous challenge. Without it, many people will be left behind. Worldwide, two million people do not have access to a bank account: not only are they outsiders, such as refugees, half of these people live in urban areas and are employed. These are mothers, fathers, students and peasants. Almost 40% of said number are young people and nearly 50% are women.
The impact over these individuals and their economies is extensive. Their limitation to the use of cash means they are unable to participate in local or worldwide economies. They lack financial identity and cannot receive money from family members abroad or aids from their own government. Generally, they do not have access to loans, and they are unable to access efficient markets to purchase and sell their goods.
Imagine queuing for hours to pay a bill in cash, or to get your salary. Imagine not being able to send a small amount of money for a reasonable cost. Imagine receiving social benefits in cash and being robbed by family members at home (a key concern for women).
“…in the end, financial inclusion is a problem that can be solved. The only way to achieve large-scale impact in this matter is through public-private partnerships.”
Although it is a challenge of immense proportions, financial inclusion is a problem that can be solved.
The only way to achieve large-scale impact in this matter is through public-private partnership. Two billion people will lack government, telecommunication companies, bank or merchant coverage, forcing them to act on their own.
“Worldwide, two billion people lack access to a bank account: not just outsiders, such as refugees, half of them are urban. Half are employed.”
For over 40 years, MasterCard has connected organizations to help speed up the pace of inclusion. Technology makers our task to empower the outsiders easier. Governments are delivering social benefits through pay card in South Africa, Turkey and Mexico. Nigeria and Egypt are implementing identity programs that link citizens to financial services. In Kenya, an innovation lab is being built to develop new services and products for people living in poverty, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
MasterCard is using technology around the world to help more people access the financial system and build better and more thriving futures. We connect over 2 billion cardholders with more than 40 million merchants through 25,000 banks in 200 countries. Our network is the fastest and safest in the planet. Through it, we connect a complex network of actors that operate under different regulations and technologies, resulting in dissemination, safety and usefulness – the bases of success for financial inclusion.