Ajay Banga: Reflections on FI2020 – Part 2

Ajay Banga, President and CEO of MasterCard Worldwide presents MasterCard’s perspective on the FI2020 Global Forum


Part 2 – Challenges and Next Steps

Measuring success

You’ve got to measure success in some way. For example, measuring the reduction of cash in the economy, and the increased number of people with some kind of digitized account. All these measures of success will be very important. So that’s what I think is going on here at the FI 2020 Global Forum – a network of like-minded people are coming together to create the right partnerships, both public-private as well as private-private.

Developing public-private partnerships

I’ve learnt that public-private partnerships are really tough, because 30% of money that is going to the 2.5 billion financially excluded is government money. So you need the government participating in the system and the discussion in some way.  Governments can also play a role in the way they create identities for people. Identities mean that companies can deal with them without the fear of facilitating illegal activity, and therefore there are many sides to this that the public-private partnership is very important for.

‘If you don’t set a goal, you won’t start working towards it’

That’s what Accion’s doing here – bringing together a network of people. So where’s it going to go? I don’t know yet. There’s this goal put out recently by the World Bank and the IFC saying ‘hey, let’s go for reaching financial inclusion by 2020’ – that’s a pretty big goal. You’ve got 2.5 billion people who today don’t participate in the mainstream – can you achieve that in 7 years? I don’t know. But I think if you don’t set a goal, you won’t start going towards it. And I think that’s the advantage of a goal like this, it fires everybody’s imagination and puts some energy into the system. I’m hoping that we will build on events like this – this won’t be the only one, there are going to be tons of these caused by that goal. I think that’s the key here.

A focus on financially excluded youth and women

You’ve got to be committed to doing this because close to the 40% of those financially excluded in the world are young people, below the age of 34. Close to 50% of them are women, and they’re not all rural – half of them are urban and half of them are rural. And half of these people have a job. In many ways, these are people like us.

We just have to realize that 2.5 billion people out of 7 billion are leading a life that’s different from yours and mine. I think we need to go out of this room saying ‘boy, I’m not going to let that carry on. I can make a difference to one, two, three million people’. I think that’s the deal – people here have to go back thinking this. It won’t happen at one event, but it will happen at a number of these.

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