World Bank Partnered With GSMA To Bring Financial Services To Over 1 Billion People

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SMEs in Africa. Image Credit: World Bank
SMEs in Africa. Image Credit: World Bank

The World Bank Group on Tuesday partnered with GSMA to help achieve Universal Financial Access (UFA) by the year 2020. The GSMA brings to the coalition a deep knowledge of mobile financial services, a proven ability to innovate, and a commitment to financial inclusion as a core component of its mission.

In this context, GSMA has pledged to support the creation of 500 million mobile money accounts over the course of the UFA initiative.

“Our commitment to support the creation of 500 million mobile money accounts reflects the scale of ambition needed to successfully close the global gap in access to financial services. We look forward to working closely with the World Bank Group and its UFA partners to ensure the conditions exist so that inclusive services, such as mobile money, can reach new heights,” Mats Granryd; General Director at GSMA said in a press statement.

Some 2 billion working-age adults globally do not use formal financial services and extending access to finance to them is the first building block to build a better life. The World Bank Group – the World Bank and IFC – has committed to enabling 1 billion people to gain access to a transaction account through targeted interventions and expanding their network of partners to boost financial inclusion.

The private sector brings the kind of innovation and investment needed to connect the remaining 2 billion people currently left out of the financial system,” Kristalina Georgieva; CEO at World Bank said in a press statement

The 32 UFA partners represent a cross-cutting network of banks, payment and technology companies, telecommunication firms, microfinance institutions, regulators, and industry associations. Recognizing that access points, products, and services are increasingly diverse, UFA partners deepen reach in key markets, leveraging a range of business models and expertise.

IFC; member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector in emerging markets is working to boost its engagement with the private sector to add millions of new account holders through its investment and advisory work with financial intermediaries and other partners. Existing IFC and World Bank operations are projected to help reach 656 million new account holders by 2020, keeping the institution on track toward the overall goal of enabling access to those who are currently unbanked.

The UFA 2020 goal – recognizing financial access as a basic building block to managing an individual’s financial life – aims to provide all adults worldwide with access to a transaction account to store money and to send and receive payments.

Access to a transaction account is a first step toward broader financial inclusion, which helps poor families escape poverty and afford such essential social services as water, electricity, housing, education and health care. Access to financing can help SMEs reduce risks, invest for growth and expand operations.

source: World Bank

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