Bankers from throughout Africa learn more about new WSBI-MasterCard Foundation (MCF) partnership "Making Small-Scale Savings Work"
>> Learn more: 'Making Small-Scale Savings Work'
>> Related news: WSBI hosts briefing workshop in Côte d’Ivoire
LAGOS, Nigeria, 6 April 2017 – Dozens of experts from banks throughout Africa met to learn more about the new WSBI-MasterCard Foundation (MCF) partnership "Making Small Scale Savings Work".
Led by Weselina Angelow, Senior Program Manager at WSBI Advisory Services, the one-day gathering kicked off with background on the programme and WSBIs journey in making small scale savings work for the underserved and unbanked, along with objectives and expectations. Youssouf Sy, Associate Program Manager on the MCF Financial Inclusion Team delivered a talk on how the foundation promotes financial inclusion through partnerships with organizations such as WSBI.
The event, held at the Federal Hotel Palace, next explored best practice so far and included an interactive discussion surrounding a usable, affordable, accessible and sustainable service offer. Sub topics included:
Knowing who and where the unbanked poor are
Customer needs do not start with savings
Senior Manager Strategy, Projects and Linkage Banking
The afternoon session continued with discussion on best practices, kicking off with a talk on the affordability envelope and the costs to supply as well as a session on sustainability and the limits to proximity.
Joining Angelow and Sy as presenters were Mashamma Mshamma, Chief Manager Electronic Banking TPB Bank and WSBI Local Technical Specialist Kimathi Githachuri.
The event follows a similar workshop held in Dakar, Sénégal on 22 March.
WSBI (World Savings and Retail Banking Institute) started in September 2016 a new partnership with The MasterCard Foundation to help boost financial access and economic development in seven African countries. The Foundation has committed $16 million over 5½ years to enable at least one million people to open accounts at banks in Côte d'Ivoire Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda.
Increased financial inclusion helps address poverty and helps promote social cohesion in communities as well as spur economic growth. Countries with high poverty rates coupled with financial exclusion – little or no access to basic banking services like savings accounts – can lead to low "formal", or bank-held, savings activity.
Banks in Sub-Saharan Africa struggle to close the gap. The lower-income segment is often misunderstood by institutions that try to serve them, and their needs are thus inadequately reflected in business models. The outcome is customer frustration, which can lead to dormant or inactive accounts – an added blow to bank costs and financial inclusion efforts.
The programme aims for high-impact results with participating banks in the region. WSBI plans to work with partners and institutions to harvest deeper insight about customers to build up more client-focused services while looking for ways to boost banks' trust level with them. The effort also looks to embed programme objectives into banks strategies with knock-on effects for culture change inside institutions, including a transition into continuous learning organisations.
As the largest provider of accounts for the poor worldwide, WSBI and its members look for ways to tackle the financial inclusion challenge. Active in the global policy debate on setting an enabling environment for financial inclusion, WSBI drives the member commitment to its 2012 Marrakech Declaration, which calls on members to provide 'An Account for everyone'. Association members also pledged to reach 1.7 billion customers and 400 million new transaction accounts by the end of 2020 as their contribution to the World Bank Group's strategic goal of Universal Financial Access by 2020. WSBI announced last month that its members had exceeded projections on its commitment to the Universal Financial Access 2020 Goal both in terms of total numbers of customers as well as transaction accounts.
>> WSBI Making Small Scale Savings Work program