In 2014, Mastercard Foundation and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) partnered to try to replicate and scale a model that had found success in the Pacific region – taking a market development approach to increase digital financial inclusion. Through this partnership, UNCDF was able to expand the Mobile Money for the Poor programme (MM4P) and test frameworks created in the Pacific in markets that were not yet “on the map”.
The Mastercard Foundation and UNCDF chose to work in three countries in West and Southern Africa – Benin, Senegal, and Zambia – all with very low digital financial services (DFS) usage rates.
The numbers tell a story of great success: Benin has seen DFS usage rates increase from 2% to 40%, Senegal from 13% to 29%, and Zambia from 4% to 44%. But lift under the “hood” of the numbers and you will see the lives of millions of people who are now financially included that weren’t five years ago.
Back in 2015, Birane was 19 and struggling to find work in his village on the outskirts of Nioro Du Rip in Senegal. Today, he is a young and well-established roving mobile money agent servicing rural villagers with the Intouch app. His diligence in handling other people’s money soon earned him the trust of villagers and allowed him to grow his customer base to a level that allows him to support himself and save for other activities in farming.
You may find out more about Birane's story, our work and approach on the market as well as the lessons we have learned in our report “Growing digital financial inclusion in Senegal”. You may also watch our video about his story in Senegal.
UNCDF released three other reports. Read also "Five Years of Market Development in Benin, Senegal and Zambia (2015-2019)", “Growing digital financial inclusion in Benin” and “Growing digital financial inclusion in Zambia”.