We recognize that addressing the global need for financial inclusion requires a collective effort from many different organizations. To that end, we partner with and support leading nongovernmental organizations that have the expertise, experience and ability to understand the daily financial needs of the underserved and deliver on-the-ground programs to meet those needs.
The GSMA mWomen Global Development Alliance aims to improve women’s access to life-enhancing services such as financial services, education and healthcare through mobile technology. While mobile financial services offer an unparalleled opportunity to advance financial inclusion, 300 million fewer women than men own mobile phones.
Visa is partnering with GSMA, USAID and AusAID on a global effort to reduce the mobile phone gender gap and accelerate women’s empowerment in low- and middle- income countries across the globe.
The public-private partnership focuses on:
- Research into women’s demand for and usage of mobile technologies, including mobile financial services
- Sharing and replicating best practices throughout the mobile industry and development community
- Grants to mobile operators to implement mWomen opportunities, products and services
- Grants for NGOs to collaborate with mobile operators in designing activities that address the barriers to mobile phone usage
The partnership, in conjunction with Bankable Frontier Associates, sponsored Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets, a report highlighting the potential of MFS in advancing financial inclusion in the developing world.
As part of the Public Private Partnership formed in December 2011, Visa and the Government of Rwanda committed to a series of twelve initiatives designed to accelerate the adoption of electronic financial services in Rwanda. For 2013, Visa and the Government of Rwanda extended the partnership with a fresh Charter of Collaboration. As with the initial charter, the ten initiatives for 2013 fall within three broad domains: lay foundations for electronic payments, promote electronic payments innovation, and capacity building.
Visa, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, Citi, the UN Capital Development Fund, Ford Foundation, and Omidyar Network, has formed the Better Than Cash Alliance to accelerate the transition from cash to electronic payments. Around the world, governments, the development community and the private sector make billions of dollars in cash payments to the poor, including disbursements of salaries, pensions, social welfare stipends, emergency relief payments, and others. Through this partnership, Visa will help raise awareness of the lasting benefits of electronic payments, including expanding financial inclusion, empowering recipients, reducing costs, increasing transparency and security and creating access to new markets. The Alliance will provide technical and financial resources to governments, the development community and the private sector in order to help them make the transition and realize the benefits of electronic payments.
Learn more by downloading the following White Paper:
The Journey Toward 'Cash Lite' (PDF | 643KB)
Addressing Poverty, Saving Money and Increasing Transparency by Accelerating the Shift to Electronic Payments
Visa, the Citi Foundation and the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion founded the Financial Inclusion 2020 initiative focused on the goal of achieving a world with universal access to quality financial services through collaboration among leading companies, NGOs and policymakers. Using the year 2020 as a focal point to galvanize action, Financial Inclusion 2020 will engage a diverse group of actors to develop and advance a comprehensive strategy that will impact the lives of financially excluded individuals worldwide.
Visa has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote financial inclusion for residents of Complexo do Alemão, an underserved community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visa will help IDB use sports, health and local educational programs to drive social development and inclusion. Visa’s collaboration with IDB will provide the community with innovative solutions that give them expanded access to the formal financial system, offer individuals and local business owners free financial consultancy services and enable local classes in financial literacy.
Visa is partnering with Women’s World Banking, a global network of microfinance organizations that works to empower poor women and their families economically, to drive financial inclusion for women in Nigeria. Visa is providing philanthropic funding to Women’s World Banking to support their work to help develop a commercially viable savings product tailored to the needs of the women in the country who are financially underserved. The program will include three phases: research; designing and rolling out a savings product that will be available at physical bank branches and on mobile phones; and a national launch after a successful pilot. In addition, financial education for women will be provided in partnership with local community organizations.
Visa partners with Oxfam America to support Saving for Change, a community finance program. Saving for Change helps village groups, typically comprised of women, act as their own community banks by training their members to save, lend, borrow and pay each other interest. The program currently reaches more than 500,000 people in five countries—Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mali, and Senegal.
Visa partners with Kiva.org, the world’s first personal microlending website, to expand economic inclusion opportunities for U.S. small businesses through access to microloans. American small businesses are a vital component of economic growth. However, according to a 2011 study commissioned by Kiva and Visa, smaller businesses tend to be vulnerable and go out of business more frequently than larger firms, often due to the difficulty of accessing small loans.
Supported by Visa’s $1 million contribution, Kiva launched a new program, “Kiva City,” to bring the Kiva lending platform to more areas across the United States. The program is helping more small businesses tap into the capital provided by Kiva’s global network of more than 600,000 lenders.
As a foundation for financial inclusion, we recognize that basic education and literacy are essential. This is why Visa supports Teach For America and Teach For All. Both organizations aspire to the vision that one day, all children will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.