Visa’s CEO Charles Scharf has got a plan to connect half a billion additional consumers to the financial mainstream in the next five years.
Visa announced its commitment last week (April 17) to developing the financial inclusion economics by pledging its resources to help bring electronic transaction accounts to the unbanked adults that exist around the world. Visa joins the other global financial inclusion leaders — part of the World Bank Group’s mission — in helping achieve universal financial access by 2020.
“Providing greater access to Visa’s payments network is both core to our business growth and consistent with our vision to be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere,” Scharf, CEO of Visa, said in a company news release. “In support of the World Bank Group’s objective of achieving universal financial access, we will work toward providing electronic payment accounts to another 500 million underserved people by end of 2020. Additional investments and partnerships will focus on driving account usage among specific population groups who now tend to be underserved, such as women, farmers, small businesses and young adults, in countries where the opportunity and need is the greatest.”
This announcement from Visa follows the release of the World Bank Group’s 2014 Global Findex report, which showed that the number of unbanked adults globally dropped by half a billion from 2011 to 2014.
“Over the last four years, we estimate that some 200 million Visa accounts have been issued to previously underserved people around the world,” Scharf continued in the release. “Yet, much remains to be done. Our commitment to increasing the number of underserved people who have an account will focus in particular on big market opportunities such as Africa, Southeast Asia and parts of Latin America. We will work to increase the number of acceptance points where people can use their accounts, and drive the usage of those accounts by tailoring products to the needs of underserved people so financial inclusion is fully realized.”