In a weeklong trip to Africa this week, Ajay Banga, President and CEO of MasterCard Worldwide, affirmed the company’s commitment to extending financial inclusion across the continent. Collaborating with local government officials, financial institutions, businesses and citizens, he shared his thoughts on a cashless society and vision of a world beyond cash.
Ajay Banga, MasterCard Worldwide President and CEO (right), discusses the benefits of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Debit MasterCard with Hilda Nkantini (left) at the Elias Motsoaledi settlement in Soweto outside Johannesburg. Nkantini is one of the nearly six million South Africans who now receive their social grant payments securely and conveniently by using the Debit MasterCard, which can also be used to pay for purchases, check balances and withdraw cash largely without incurring transaction fees. (Nadine Hutton/AP Images for MasterCard Worldwide)
- 80 percent of sub-Saharan Africa is unbanked
- Africa’s financial services sector is projected to grow 40 percent by 2020
- Seven out of ten of the world’s fastest-growing economies will be in Africa by 2015
- Africa has surpassed Europe in the number of mobile phones and the US in number of cell phone users.
- 61% of Kenyans use mobile phones to send money
(World Bank Findex)
MasterCard in Africa
- January 14th, Ajay Banga addressed Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials and other business leaders in Abuja, Nigeria. In his address, Mr. Banga acknowledged CBN’s Cashless Policy as the driving force behind the reform in the country’s electronic payments sector over the past two years
- January 15th, Mr. Banga attended a signing ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya to announce an agreement between MasterCard and Equity Bank of Kenya to issue five million MasterCard-branded debit and prepaid cards.
- The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and MasterCard are working to bring bank access to the country. By 2013, 15 million grants will be given to 10 million recipients, mostly those who are unbanked, Resulting in $375 million savings by SASSA on operational costs alone
- On January 17th, Mr. Banga met with South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene to discuss the importance of the financial sector and government working together.