Mastercard has lamented the level of financial inclusion penetration in Africa, labeling it below average. Madam Ann Miles, the Director of MasterCard Foundation on Financial Inclusion, said the level of financial inclusion in countries in sub-Saharan Africa is significantly low compared to other countries around the world.
She said the general level of financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan African was 34 per cent during the last count in 2016.
Madam Miles, speaking at the fifth MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, in Accra, therefore, expressed the hope that this would move up in the yet-to-be published report.
She said the Foundation was working with a number of Financial Institutions to help in the extension of financial services to people, who were unbanked or underbanked to ensure that there was the closure of the gap on financial inclusion.
The Foundation, she said, had helped to enroll these groups into the financial system to help boost the economy of African countries.
Madam Miles said because financial products and services continued to be expensive and there was a huge documentation requirement from the banks, it scared away the ordinary people from banking with financial institutions.
She said: ‘We are interested in seeing how telecommunications networks can link with banks and financial institutions, extending their services.’
The annual MasterCard Foundation symposium aims to reflect the financial inclusion industry’s journey in adopting, applying and learning from client centricity and provide the contextual backdrop against, which financial services providers operate and clients live.
It is also to provide practical examples on how to continue driving client centricity and demonstrate that client centricity was a valued-added, win-win proposition for both clients and institution.
The Symposium has become the pre-eminent global event for financial inclusion professionals, who wish to stay apace of sector’s development, share best practices and make or strengthen connections with fellow practitioners.
Madam Reeta Roy, the President and CEO of MasterCard Foundation, said over the years, financial inclusion had increased as a priority for the international development community as well as governments, business owners and the clients they served.
She said after five years of gathering the brightest minds in the field to advance access and resources to modern financial products and services, ‘we have made significant progress that will continue to make a difference in the lives of the people.’
‘This symposium celebrates the progress made over these past years and defines the work yet to be done,’ she added.