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The MasterCard Foundation Awards First “Clients at the Centre Prize” at Annual Symposium on Financial Inclusion

Global Financial Service Practitioners and Industry Experts Gather to Advance Practical Ways to Increase Financial Inclusion for the Poor.

Cape Town, South Africa, November 19, 2015—The MasterCard Foundation today awarded its first “Clients at the Centre” Prize to BIMA. The US$150,000 Prize recognizes the company’s innovative work in providing mobile-delivered micro-insurance and health services to 20 million customers in 14 emerging markets.

The award was presented at The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, the annual gathering of financial service industry practitioners serving the needs of poor people in developing countries, being held from November 19-20 in Cape Town.

The MasterCard Foundation believes that putting poor clients at the centre of the design process greatly increases the effectiveness of financial products and services and helps to bring people into the formal banking system, improving their livelihoods.

“The benefits of access to finance for individuals, having the ability to save, borrow and transfer money, and also to insure themselves, are well understood,” said Ann Miles, Director of Programs, Financial Inclusion & Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation. “We’ve seen significant progress recently but the world can only achieve universal financial inclusion if financial service providers truly understand the unique context and needs of poor people. BIMA is doing just that and stands as a model of what can be done.”

Research shows that access to the formal financial system can improve the lives of people living in poverty and small businesses. Financial inclusion can boost job creation, leading to poverty reduction and enabling more people to pay for important services such as health and education.

The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion is an annual event hosted by The MasterCard Foundation in partnership with the Boulder Institute of Microfinance. It attracts the world’s leading experts and practitioners in the field of financial inclusion, including representatives of financial service providers (banks, microfinance institutions), mobile telephone network operators, governments and  regulatory agencies, national and international NGOs, and donors from the public and private sectors.

During the two-day event, they will explore trends in the sector and ways to move more quickly and with more impact to bring secure, affordable and convenient financial services to the world’s two billion people who lack access to them. This year, more than 325 people from 62 countries are attending the Symposium.

To join the conversation at the Symposium on Financial Inclusion, follow the Foundation on Twitter @MCFoundation and the event hashtag: #SoFI2015.

Symposium materials can be found at www.mastercardfdnsymposium.org

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest, independent foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion in order to alleviate poverty. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.

For more information, please contact:

Roger Morier
Senior Manager, Communications
The MasterCard Foundation
+1-647-837-5290
+1-416-616-1864 (mobile)
rmorier@mastercardfdn.org

 

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