Visa and GSMA Foundation launch financial inclusion project

Visa and GSMA Foundation launch financial inclusion project

At Mobile World Congress on Monday, payments company Visa and the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation (a.k.a. the GSMA Foundation) launched the Digital Finance for All (DFA) Initiative to advance digital financial inclusion in developing markets.

The five-year initiative aims to advance digital financial inclusion for 20 million people, especially women, small holder farmers (SHF), and nano, micro and small enterprise (NMSE) owners across low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The GSMA Foundation says that while digital payments usage by adults in low- and middle-income countries is up 66% from 2014, women, SHFs, NMSE owners and globally displaced individuals continue to face barriers accessing the digital economy.

For example, women in low- and middle-income countries are 20% less likely than men to hold a formal financial account. Meanwhile, most SHFs have limited or no access to formal financial services like credit, loans, savings, or insurance, despite being responsible for producing over 30% of the world’s food.

“Mobile money can play a transformative role in advancing financial inclusion and resilience for the nearly 2 billion people who remain unbanked globally. However, poor digital and financial literacy is a key barrier to accessing digital financial services, especially for certain population segments like women, farmers and micro-merchants,” said Ashley Olson Onyango, head of financial inclusion and agritech at GSMA.

The DFA Initiative aims to tackle these issues by delivering financial education resources via a jointly developed mobile financial literacy toolkit that will enable easy delivery and scaling across markets to help enable access to mobile money services. The initiative will also help digitize SHFs and NMSEs to support their adoption of digital financial services.

Also, the GSMA Foundation and the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute (VEEI) will collaborate on research to develop financial inclusion, advocacy and product innovation for women, SHFs and NMSEs.


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