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WSBI hosts briefing workshop in Côte d’Ivoire

WSBI hosts briefing workshop in Côte d’Ivoire

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​​​​​WSBI-ESBG News & Views magazine feature

Bankers there learn about WSBI-MasterCard Foundation partnership “Making Small-Scale Savings Work”


>> WSBI Making Small Scale Savings Work program

>> Related: WSBI hosts briefing workshop in Nigeria, Sénégal



BRUSSELS, 16 October 2017 – ​​A group of banking experts from Côte d'Ivoire met on 12 July to learn more about the new WSBI-Mastercard Foundation (MCF) partnership "Making Small Scale Savings Work". 

The one-day gathering in Abidjan kicked off with background on the programme and WSBI’s journey in making small-scale savings work for the underserved and unbanked. Explaining the objectives and expectations of the programme was WSBI Advisory Services’ Céline Stevens along with colleague Weselina Angelow and WSBI’s Ian Radcliffe.

​Ivorian banks taking part were: Banque Atlantique, Société Ivoirienne de Banque (SIB) and WSBI member Caisse Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne – CNCE. WSBI Moroccan member Al Barid Bank shared best practices during the workshop. An interactive discussion also occurred to explore how best to create usable, affordable, accessible and sustainable service offer in the Ivorian market.

​Part of a series of workshops in 2017

The event follows similar workshops held in Dakar, Senegal, in March and an April workshop in Lagos, Nigeria. The workshops and meetings held so far are a way for the programme to find potential partner banks in Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria and Senegal.

Why it's important

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. 

Whilst WSBI continues with some of the previous programme partners in Uganda, Kenya and Morocco, WSBI is in the process of screening new partner banks in our four new programme countries Senegal, Nigeria, Mali and Ivory Coast.

​Changing the banking model in Sub-Saharan Africa

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.

​WSBI and financial inclusion

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 in March of this year 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.

​About the WSBI-MCF partnership

The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) 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. The partners work together through the WSBI African Financial Inclusion Program: “Making Small Scale Savings Work”, which aims to establish the viability of small-balance savings accounts.



Financial inclusion; Doubling savings accounts; Access to Finance