The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion Advocates for Financial Service Providers to Focus on Those Living in Poverty

Two-thirds of adults in Africa do not have an account at a formal
financial institution. The 2016 Symposium will offer insights into
sustainable business models to drive financial inclusion.

KIGALI, Rwanda–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Financial inclusion is beneficial to businesses and poor people in
developing countries, in particular to people living in rural or remote
areas. Research shows that access to formal financial services can boost
job creation, increase investments in education, and directly help
people living in poverty to manage risk and absorb financial shocks. Yet
two-thirds of adults in Africa, for instance, do not have an account at
a formal financial institution.

Recognizing the urgent need to increase access to and usage of financial
products and services, The MasterCard Foundation will hold its fourth
Symposium on Financial Inclusion October 20-21, 2016. The two-day event,
being held in Kigali, will convene global thought leaders, such as Eldar
Shafir, author of “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much,” and
Nick Hughes, founder of mobile money leader M-PESA and co-founder of
M-KOPA, who will share the latest advances in industry practices. The
Symposium will cover a range of issues from how the work of behavioural
economists can advance client centricity to methods of creating
long-term relationships with underserved clients, while demonstrating
the business case for doing so.

“Financial inclusion is essential to improving the livelihoods of people
living in underserved communities, and for advancing a country’s overall
economic growth and prosperity,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of
The MasterCard Foundation. “Large numbers of people across the
developing world need and want access to modern financial products and
services that work for them. This Symposium is promoting the innovation,
learning and sharing of knowledge that will spur more inclusive
financial systems.”

At the Symposium, The MasterCard Foundation will also award its 2016
Clients at the Centre Prize – a US$150,000 initiative to find and
recognize the organizations most focused on client centricity in their
work to enable poor people in developing countries to access formal
financial products and services.

The prize will be awarded after three finalist organizations present
their ideas to the audience, which will vote for the winner. The three
finalists are:

  • Artoo IT Solutions (India), a digital lending business;
  • Fourth Generation Capital (Kenya), a lending company focused on
    micro-entrepreneurs; and
  • Hello Paisa (South Africa), a mobile money transfer company.

The full Symposium agenda can be found here.
To follow the conversation at the Symposium on Financial Inclusion,
follow the Foundation on Twitter @MastercardFdn
via the event hashtag: #SoFI2016.

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
private foundations its work is guided by its mission to advance
learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and
equitable world.

Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard
when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to
sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit
Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn
on Twitter.


The MasterCard Foundation
Roger Morier, +1-416-616-1864
Manager, Communications