This week, MasterCard joins more than 2,500 business leaders, heads of state and government, as well as representatives from academia, development organizations, non-profits and media in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. The theme for this year’s meeting is “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business” – and the topics of financial inclusion and inclusive growth will be front and center on the agenda.
2.5 billion adults – or roughly half of the world’s adult population – are lacking access to credit, insurance, savings accounts and other formal financial services. But innovations in payment technology – prepaid and mobile coupled with biometrics – have the power to bring millions of people access to financial tools for the first time, enabling them to live more secure, empowered and included lives.
MasterCard is also excited to work with new partners in the development and non-profit sectors to deliver on the power and promise of electronic payments. For example, MasterCard just announced a global strategic partnership with Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) aimed at advancing financial capabilities of children and youth.
Technology alone cannot change the lives of those currently excluded from the financial mainstream. It requires public-private partnerships. MasterCard has launched programs with governments in over 25 countries in both developed and emerging markets (read more).