Nina Nieuwoudt: How Financial Inclusion Can Move People Out of Poverty


By Nina Nieuwoudt, Global Product Development, New Consumers

Around the world this week, governments, multilaterals, and companies are coming together to celebrate Financial Inclusion Week. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the progress that we’ve made in extending financial access to un-banked and underbanked communities, and also a time to take honest stock of how far we still have to go. As Mastercard’s Chief Product Officer Michael Miebach noted following his speech at Money20/20 last week – we’re making progress, but at our current pace we won’t achieve full financial inclusion for another 200 years. Needless to say, we’ve got work to do.

The theme of this year’s Financial Inclusion Week is how new products and partnerships can enable financial inclusion. At Mastercard, this topic is close to our hearts. We believe that cross-sector partnerships are key to extending access to consumers at the base of the pyramid and building products that truly improve their lives.

We’re proud that this commitment to new partnership models can be found at all levels of our company. Several of these partnerships have been highlighted in a joint report by Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion and the Institute for International Finance, entitled “How Financial Institutions and Fintechs are Partnering for Inclusi.... The report recognizes our collaboration with Kopo Kopo, a fintech start-up, and Diamond Trust Bank to create a QR-payment ecosystem in Kenya that allows customers to pay with their phones, by simply taking a photo of a QR code and manually entering the transaction amount.

Later this week, I’ll be speaking about ways financial institutions and fintechs can partner during a webinar hosted by the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion.

Beyond our partnerships, we’ve done our own on-the-ground research. For example, we recently released a report that offer insights into how to build a digital payments ecosystem for small and micro businesses. To learn more about how we’re supporting financial inclusion across the company, watch this video.

Despite these gains, we still face a host of challenges in reaching the two billion people who are locked out of the formal financial system. At Mastercard, we know that the only way we will ever transform this equation is by creating partnerships that leverage relevant sector expertise, and that offer in-depth knowledge of base-of-the-pyramid needs – from health and education, to payments and digital finance.

It is perhaps the biggest ecosystem we have tried to build yet, but it is incumbent on all of us to do so. 200 years is too long to wait.


Editor's Note:


This article first appeared  here and is reproduced with permission.

Since you’re here...

...why not join one of the many open collaboration Challenges we are running to address pressing global issues? Join your peers, share your passion and add your expertise!

Our Challenges are made possible thanks to our Supporters and Partners. If you’d be interested in supporting a current or new Challenge, please get in touch.

Views: 153

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Business Fights Poverty to add comments!

Join Business Fights Poverty

Latest Activity

Profile IconMelanie Heirs, Emma Marks and giorgia epicoco joined Business Fights Poverty
Tuesday
Profile IconSylvia Zulu, Krisztina Tora and Esayas Mulatu joined Business Fights Poverty
Nov 17
Profile IconGisele Iradukunda and Angus Brown joined Business Fights Poverty
Nov 14
Profile IconChinemba Samundengu and PINAKI BANERJEE joined Business Fights Poverty
Nov 13

© 2017   Inspiris. Business Fights Poverty was created and is managed by Inspiris, a Certified B Corp.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Google+