Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
The State of Linkage Report
The report provides, for the first time, a global mapping of linkage activity between savings groups and formal financial institutions around the world. In total, we were able to identify nearly 90 financial service providers – including banks, microfinance institutions, and mobile network operators – that provide formal financial products to groups across 27 countries. The main findings are:
1) East Africa is leading the way
More than 60 percent of the savings group products offered globally by banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs) or mobile network operators (MNOs) are found in Africa. Furthermore, nearly half of all group savings and credit products available in Africa are found in just three East African countries: Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania
2) Commercial banks have a major role to play
Our research shows that banks and MFIs are playing a more prominent role in the delivery of group financial products: 9 in 10 group products are directly linked to a bank or MFI product of some kind. More importantly, 70 percent are owned by a commercial bank, lending additional credibility to our assertion that there is a strong business case for banks to develop products and services for savings groups