Visa and GSMA Foundation Launch Digital Finance for All Initiative to Boost Financial Inclusion

The initiative aims to empower 20 million individuals worldwide with digital financial services, focusing on underserved communities.

Visa, a leading global payments technology company, and the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation (GSMA Foundation) have announced the launch of the Digital Finance for All (DFA) Initiative, furthering Visa’s decades-long efforts to increase access to the global economy for everyone, everywhere. This five-year initiative aims to advance digital financial inclusion for 20 million individuals, including women, small holder farmers (SHF), and nano, micro and small enterprise (NMSE) owners across low- and middle-incomecountries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

While digital payments use by adults in low- and middle-income countries is up 66% from 20141, women, SHFs, NMSE owners and globally displaced individuals continue to face barriers accessing the digital economy. Women in low- and middle-income countries are 20% less likely than men to hold a formal financial account2 and more than 30% of the world’s food is produced by SHFs3 yet most have limited or no access to formal financial services like credit, loans, savings, or insurance4.

At Visa, we believe that digital payments are critical to including everyone in the digital economy by helping provide access to economic livelihood. Together with the GSMA Foundation, we seek to empower those in underserved communities across the world and provide equal access to help build better financial futures for all.

Chiagozie Nwabuebo, Vice President of Global Growth & Social Impact, Visa

To help improve financial health, the DFA will:

  • Deliver financial education resources through a jointly developed mobile financial literacy toolkit that enables easy delivery and scaling across markets to help enable successful access to and participation in mobile money services;
  • Develop joint research through the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute (VEEI) and the GSMA Foundation focused on financial inclusion, advocacy and product innovation for women, SHFs, NMSEs and globally displaced individuals;
  • Digitize SHFs and NMSEs to support their adoption of digital financial services to enable their resilience and growth; and
  • Support meaningful financial inclusion and wellbeing for refugees and the communities who host them.

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. We are very excited about our partnership with Visa enabling us to further drive economic empowerment and support millions of users to access life changing financial services.

Ashley Olson Onyango, Head of Financial Inclusion and AgriTech, GSMA

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