Five Years of Market Development in Benin, Senegal and Zambia (2015-2019)


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”.

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.

The report compiles all the learnings from five years of market development in Benin, Senegal and Zambia. This publication brings forth the voices of customers and the stakeholders with whom we engaged. Their views offer insight into how the market development approach we took contributed to the growth of each market.

Discover the story of Pierrette from Benin whose business tripled as she saved time and money by using her phone to place orders via WhatsApp, pay with her MTN mobile money account her suppliers in northern Benin, and repay her loan with ALIDé. She invested the money she saved into her business, which is now flourishing. Read the story in Benin and watch the video.

Birane from Senegal is a young and well-established roving mobile money agent servicing rural villagers with the Intouch app. He earned the trust of villagers and grew his customer base to a level that allows him to support himself and save for other activities in farming. Read the story in Senegal and watch the video.

And Elase from Zambia who is a thriving mobile money agent managing four booths and several tellers. She grew her business after receiving a non-collateral loan from FINCA, a project partner of the programme. She is growing as an entrepreneur and feels empowered in her professional and personal life, providing business advice to her clients and contributing to her household needs. Read the story in Zambia and watch the video.