Johannesburg, South Africa, August 1, 2018—IFC, a member of the World
Bank Group, together with the Mastercard Foundation, today released a digital
study that presents a set of best practice financial modeling benchmarks
for agent banking and mobile money solutions. These benchmarks will aid
financial institutions as they launch or expand digital financial services
for greater financial inclusion in emerging markets, a critical step in
achieving inclusive economic growth.
The benchmarks are gathered together in a
digital study that is available online:
Aligning Expectations: The Business Case for Financial Inclusion.
It will help financial institutions design sustainable business models
for affordable and accessible financial services, targeting previously
unbanked populations such as small-scale entrepreneurs, low-income individuals,
and rural communities. The benchmarks are based on a four-year study of
nine financial institutions pioneering agent banking and mobile money solutions
in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Riadh Naouar, Manager of IFC’s Financial
Institutions Group Advisory in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “The benchmarks
show that there is a viable business case for digital financial services
to expand financial inclusion. The pioneers of mobile and agent banking
had to guess their way forward, but now these benchmarks make it less costly
and risky for new entrants to the market.”
The development of digital financial services has led to an unprecedented
increase in financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade,
from 24 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2017 (Findex 2018, World Bank).
Sub-Saharan Africa, the only region where the share of adults with a mobile
money account exceeds 20 percent, is fast moving towards the goal of universal
financial access by 2020.
“Agent banking and mobile money have begun
to transform the financial landscape in many African markets, and there
is an increasing body of evidence to show that this has real, positive
impact on people’s lives and livelihoods,” said Riadh Naouar.
The benchmarks study is a knowledge product
of the Partnership
for Financial Inclusion, a $37.4
million joint initiative of IFC and the Mastercard Foundation to expand
microfinance and advance digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.
IFC—a sister organization of the
World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work
with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise,
and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas
of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in
long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the
private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org
About Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity
to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to
advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty.
One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively
in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates
independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation
is based in Toronto, Canada. For more information and to sign up for the
Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.
Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.