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It's Time for a Rethink on Financial Inclusion - New Principles Show How

By: Ajay S. Banga, Executive Chairman, Mastercard

Published 08-12-21

Submitted by MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth

people walking in a third world country market place
There are 1.7 billion individuals without access to a bank or mobile money. Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
  • While technology has served as a gateway for many, patchy internet access and the lack of affordable tools and access to digital skills has created a digital divide that risks barring the pathway to growth.
  • A new set of Principles offers a vision that makes digitally-led financial inclusion a natural outcome of an innovative and competitive financial system.
  • The Principles have been launched by the Edison Alliance.

This article was first published on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda.

Where trade thrives, people thrive. This has been true for centuries. From the agoras of ancient Greece to the bustling bazaars throughout the world today, trade has always been a vehicle for connections and commerce – and also for the exchange of cultures and ideas. Opportunity was a matter of getting to the marketplace.

These days, more and more of the work we do and the widgets we exchange are digitized. Even before the pandemic sparked a rapid shift to e-commerce and digitization, services and data flows were outpacing goods as the main units of trade. In theory, the internet became the global commons, a place where anyone with a solid business idea and internet access could link up to the supply chain system and become a legitimate entrepreneur.

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The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth focuses on promoting equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. As an independent Mastercard subsidiary, it combines data, expertise and technology with philanthropic investments to empower a community of thinkers, leaders and innovators on the frontlines of inclusive growth. Follow us on Twitter @CNTR4growth and subscribe to receive our latest insights.

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