MasterCard is on the first Fortune “Change the World” list of companies that have made a sizable impact on major global social or environmental problems as part of their competitive strategy. At number 11, MasterCard sits among other leading innovative companies doing good as part of their profit-making strategy. For MasterCard it is about financial inclusion.
With two billion adults around the world unbanked and trapped in a cash economy, MasterCard has been working with financial institutions, merchants, telecommunications companies, governments and the development community and has already helped make the financial system more accessible to over 150 million people previously excluded through 500 programs in more than 50 countries. The commitment is to connect 500 million by 2020, including bringing millions of merchants into the system.
One example of these efforts is the recently launched MasterCard Labs for Financial Inclusion, the first of its kind innovation R&D hub in Nairobi, Kenya that is focused on building commercially-viable financial products and services that reach 100 million people.
To assemble the list, the editors of Fortune and FSG, a nonprofit social-impact consulting firm, reached out to dozens of business, academic, and nonprofit experts around the world, asking for their recommendations. Fortune and a joint team from FSG and the Shared Value Initiative then vetted more than 200 nominees.
A team of journalists from Fortune then further vetted each of the nominees and reported on their impact. The final list was selected and ranked by the editors of Fortune based on the magazine’s own reporting and by the analysis provided. Read Alan Murray’s introduction of the new list here.