In order to promote low-income earners’ access to affordable, secure, and convenient financial services, The MasterCard Foundation has recently announced a five-year, $US9.6 million partnership with FinMark Trust and Cenfri to launch and support a data facility designed to help financial service providers better understand the financial services needs of their clients.
The data facility, named “insight2impact” (i2i), aims to demonstrate how financial service providers can draw customer insights from current data sets and effectively use them in product design and business decisions that offer clients services that meet their needs. It will also help to house, develop and disseminate new approaches for measuring financial access and use.
Research shows that access to the formal financial system can improve the lives of people living in poverty and small businesses. Financial inclusion can boost job creation, leading to poverty reduction and enabling more people to pay for important services, such as access to health care and education.
According to Ann Miles, Director of Programs, Financial Inclusion and Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation, “banks and other financial service providers today, more than ever, need to be responsive to clients in order to differentiate themselves and remain relevant . . . “i2i is an important, collaborative effort to help the industry improve not just the range and relevance of financial products and services, but also enhance clients’ experiences and satisfaction with services being offered to them.”
CEO of FinMark Trust, Dr. Prega Ramsamy, added that the “partnership with The MasterCard Foundation will allow us, through the i2i, to catalyze innovation for tailor-made solutions to meet client needs. This will undoubtedly take our work to the next level which is anchored on the quality of financial inclusion.”
Herman Smit, Technical Director of Cenfri and interim lead of i2i, said “In most developing countries, limited insights on new consumer segments undermine the ability of the financial sector to best serve them. We believe through this pioneering collaboration we can work with financial service providers to improve our understanding of how they can best serve these new consumer segments through the use of data.”
The MasterCard Foundation is a Canadian-based independent foundation advancing learning and promoting financial inclusion in order to improve the lives of people; FinMark Trust is an independent trust based in Johannesburg, South Africa; while Cenfri-The Centre for Financial Regulation & Inclusion- is an independent think tank based in South Africa.