When it comes to financial inclusion, we have come a long way, especially with the many significant milestones we have achieved in the last couple of years. However, almost two-thirds of the African population is still financially excluded. When we talk about the magnitude of this challenge, this massive fragment tends to overshadow the real impact on the individuals behind this statistic. Mothers, employees, entrepreneurs, students, start-up owners and farmers still lack access to any financial system. With our sharp focus on providing formal financial services to those currently excluded, MasterCard is committed to its vision of ‘Financial Inclusion for All’.
We have identified and recognized financial inclusion as a key driver of business growth and development as well as the growth of entrepreneurs and individuals inhabiting this great continent. Driving financial inclusion relies heavily on the innovative use of technology. Cash remains a major barrier to financial inclusion but through technology we can help to create a world beyond cash. Through innovation, we are able to empower households, local businesses and technology companies in Africa.
The lack of financial inclusion weakens economic and social stability and therefore, it is our collective responsibility to overcome this challenge. We can create economic opportunity and growth, help reduce poverty and empower individuals through effective partnerships with governments, NGOs and local businesses. In doing so, we can establish access to basic financial tools and provide communities with greater opportunity to lead more self-determined and dignified lives.
We are contributing towards Africa’s electronic transformation by partnering with various players – mobile network operators, large retailers and other stakeholders, to introduce electronic payments and build robust electronic payment ecosystems for the continent’s sustained economic development.
Governments are also driving the move to cashless societies using technology, recognizing the crucial role it plays in advancing the cause of financial inclusion.
At MasterCard, we remain committed to driving financial inclusion by intensifying our efforts in developing innovative digital solutions that accelerate our journey to a ‘World Beyond Cash’.