IFC, Mastercard Foundation Extend Financial Inclusion for Millions in Africa
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with the Mastercard Foundation, today released a new report documenting the transformation underway in financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa. The findings are based on lessons learned from joint projects that have resulted in access to new digital financial services for more than seven million users on the continent over the past six years.
Digital Access: The Future of Financial Inclusion highlights the phenomenal success of digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa and outlines the challenges still to be tackled to reach universal financial access. It captures the experience and knowledge gained by IFC and the Mastercard Foundation in supporting the growth of digital finance in Africa under the joint Partnership for Financial Inclusion since 2012. Working together with 14 microfinance institutions, banks, mobile network operators, and payments service providers across the continent, the joint initiative has resulted in 7.2 million new digital financial services users (a 250 percent increase from the baseline), 45,000 new banking agents, and $300 million in monthly transactions.
“Financial inclusion is one of Africa’s great success stories of this decade. Mobile money solutions and agent banking now offer affordable, instant, and reliable transactions, savings, credit, and even insurance opportunities in rural villages and urban neighborhoods where no bank had ever established a branch,” noted IFC’s Chief Executive Officer Philippe Le Houerou and Mastercard Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Reeta Roy in a joint foreword to the new report.
Financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased dramatically over the past decade, from 24 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2017, according to recently released data from the World Bank Findex survey. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where the share of adults with a mobile money account exceeds 10 percent...