$250 million risk-sharing facility to enable emerging market banks to provide increased access to secure and transparent financial services to millions in emerging markets and reach people currently excluded from financial services

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Washington, D.C., April 17, 2015— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and MasterCard today signed an agreement to establish a risk-sharing facility, which is expected to provide millions of people in emerging markets access to electronic payments, a crucial next step in their ongoing collaboration to increase universal financial access by 2020.

Electronic payments lower the cost and increase the security of transactions, benefiting small businesses and consumers. Financial institutions in developing countries are keen to expand services, but are often held back by collateral requirements necessary to cover settlement risk.

To address these constraints, IFC and MasterCard are setting up a $250 million risk-sharing facility that will provide alternative coverage and share the settlement risk of participating emerging market financial institutions. It is expected to lead to the issuance of millions of new cards, the majority of which will be debit cards for lower income customers. The focus will be on countries where inclusion needs are the greatest or where payment platforms are nascent. Key aspects include:

  • Increased ability for new financial institutions to join the MasterCard network and for existing ones to grow their payment services offerings and reach a wider segment of customers.
  • Targeting of institutions with limited or no capacity to access a payment platform.
  • Reaching small businesses and individuals who currently transact most of their business or financial activities in cash or have only limited access to electronic payment services.

“The facility is a key step in the World Bank Group’s efforts to support the development and expansion of private sector electronic payments in emerging markets and reach our goal of universal financial access,” said IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Jin-Yong Cai. “It will benefit individuals and small businesses by improving the availability of non-cash financial services, which are safer, more transparent and more efficient than cash.”

Ajay Banga, CEO and president of MasterCard said, “To reach MasterCard’s goal of an additional 500 million people connected to financial services by 2020, we must all roll up our sleeves and get creative in how we build public-private partnerships. This partnership with the IFC is a model for how we can create opportunities and remove barriers for banks to include more people in the financial fold.”

The World Bank Group-MasterCard Partnership aims to enhance financial access in emerging markets by developing and deploying innovative, scalable and sustainable payments solutions that reach institutions and customers in emerging markets with inadequate access to such services.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit http://www.ifc.org/.

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About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), http://www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
Media Contact:

John McNally
International Finance Corporation
Phone: +1-202-458-0723
E-email: JMcNally@ifc.org

Ryan Erenhouse
Phone: +1 914-249-3176
E-email: Ryan_Erenhouse@mastercard.com