The often referenced Portfolios of the Poor – How the World’s Poor Lives on $2 A Day illustrates the impact of financial exclusion by detailing the complex financial lives of the world’s poor. The book shows that despite a lack of access to formal financial systems, people living in poverty not only find ways to save, they create complex systems of financial management in order to make ends meet.
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land. Despite the potential, Africa’s farms produce, on average, much less per hectare than farms in many other countries. As a result, more than 200 million individuals, almost two thirds of the entire U.S. population, are chronically undernourished. And, as we have seen, the majority of those affected are living in rural areas where the small farm is their livelihood.
The drive to universal financial inclusion took a big step forward in 2015. The World Bank’s Global Findex report told us that the number of people in the world without access to any form of financial services had fallen by 20 percent in the past three years, to two billion. That is still a large number of poor people looking to benefit from the financial products and services that people in wealthier countries take for granted, but it shows that efforts to advance financial inclusion are paying off.
At The MasterCard Foundation, we believe that a key element in enabling more poor people to be financially included is for financial service providers to truly understand the needs and desires of the economically disadvantaged. More than designing products and services that they hope might appeal to every segment of the population, banks and other financial institutions could expand their client base by developing products and services that they know will be of use to poor people.
A month from today, over 300 leaders advancing financial inclusion globally will come together in Cape Town. On their minds will be one thing–how can we, as providers, donors, academics, consultants, and support organizations, ensure that poor, excluded clients have access to and use financial services that enable them to improve their lives.
The two-day MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion is all about delivering client value. In an earlier blog post, we spoke about the first day of the Symposium. On the second day, we’ll ask the difficult questions that keep us up at night: Read MoreHome stretch to the Symposium
This interview with Ann Miles, Director of Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation, was conducted by Rahim Kanani and originally published on Trust.org
“Greater financial inclusion is correlated with higher living standards, better health outcomes, higher education levels, and an overall improvement in well-being,” explained Ann Miles, Director of Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation. In an interview tied to the second annual MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, we discussed the foundation’s approach to financial inclusion, their efforts and impact on the ground thus far, what it means to put clients at the center, and much more.
At The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, we asked the experts to finish the following sentence: “Financial inclusion is…”
#SoFI2014 has just ended on a great note. Thanks again to all speakers, attendees, staff, and volunteers for working together and making this such a memorable event!
Our morning began with a highly entertaining presentation from Jason Young and Tracy Moore of MindBlown Labs, a company that has worked on creating fun, experiential learning tools.
In a session moderated by Matthew Bishop of the Economist, Kamal Qadir of bKash, Stephen Peachey of the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute and Greta Bull of IFC talk about the future role of financial inclusion.
Day two of #SoFI2014 has just finished and once again, there’s a lot to report from the day’s keynotes, panels and, of course, practical, hands-on workshops.
The Foundation’s own Ann Miles and Iqbal Nadir of MIT announced the launch of a new competition to encourage innovative practices that encourage further customer-centricity in the world of financial inclusion.