MasterCard Study: Bill Payment Represents Key Entry Point to Greater Financial Inclusion

MasterCard Study: Bill Payment Represents Key Entry Point to Greater Financial Inclusion

New Report Lays Out 21stCentury Hierarchy of Financial Needs

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PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- On the heels of its ground-breaking partnership with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) aimed at growing the WFP's game-changing digital food initiative, MasterCard today released a study outlining a new hierarchy of financial needs. The new study offers an innovative approach to empowering underserved communities to join the financial mainstream.

MasterCard is releasing this report in advance of next week's convening of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly and at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City at a time when both have financial inclusion on their agendas.

Instead of defining financial inclusion in terms of full access to financial products and services to serve one's payments, investments/savings, borrowing and insurance needs, MasterCard examines whether financial inclusion could be considered a progression as part of an overall hierarchy of financial needs. This progression is one that would start with the most basic/foundational need of non-cash methods of bill payment and moving to more complex needs like non-cash methods for other purchases, borrowing, investments/savings and insurance.

To further advance this dialogue, MasterCard will convene government, NGO and academic leaders for a Global Financial Inclusion Day on November 1 in New York City.

"With 50 percent of world adult population still financially unserved, financial inclusion is seen as a key path to alleviating poverty by both developed and developing countries across the globe," said Walt Macnee, vice chairman, MasterCard Worldwide. "Make no mistake, the global challenges before us exceed the interests of any one brand, industry, market, or country. The solutions must evolve from a dynamic ecosystem of stakeholders including partners from industry, financial institutions, governments, retailers, and telcos, especially as we move toward a more efficient and inclusive cashless society."

As part of MasterCard's ongoing commitment to financial inclusion, the company recently announced the following partnerships:

  • MasterCard has become the first payment network to issue a license to a bank in Myanmar, paving the way for this country to move closer into the global family of nations.

  • The South AfricanSocialSecurity Agency ("SASSA") started distributing social benefits in electronic form, eventually providing 10 million citizens with access to the economic mainstream.

  • MasterCard announced a partnership with The United Bank for Africa to accept and issue payment cards in 19 African countries that will benefit millions.

  • In Mexico, MasterCard is partnering with Banorte, the third largest bank, and Telecomm Telegrafos, to provide financial services to citizens in rural and underserved communities.

  • To ensure safe and timely disbursement of funds and to prevent fraud, in the United Arab Emirates, the Ministry of Labour and the Central Bank have mandated the Wage Protection system "WPS". The WPS allows employers to transfer their staff wages electronically via MasterCard prepaid cards.

  • In India, MasterCard is involved with the government's Unique Identification (UID) project, an initiative to provide identification for each resident across the country to efficiently deliver welfare services.

  • MasterCard is committed to financial inclusion through the power of entrepreneurship and small business development. In the U.S., MasterCard partners with organizations like the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Junior Achievement, the Missouri Council on Economic Education and many others to provide low income youth and adults with the training and resources they need to start and grow their businesses.

  • MasterCard also invests in global communities through organizations such as The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, International Youth Foundation, Right to Play, Pro Mujer, Grameen Foundation, UN Women, INSEAD, and The Prince's Trust to provide low income youth and adults with the financial services, training and resources they need to build and preserve assets.

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard (NYS: MA) ,,is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 conversation on Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

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