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Press release from PR Newswire

MasterCard and The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion Team up to Advance Financial Inclusion

Monday, February 04, 2013

MasterCard and The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion Team up to Advance Financial Inclusion09:00 EST Monday, February 04, 2013Research Analyzes Global Trends that are Affecting Drive toward Greater Economic EmpowermentWASHINGTON and PURCHASE, N.Y., Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion together with MasterCard today launched Mapping the Invisible Market, a major research initiative as part of the Financial Inclusion 2020 campaign.  Additionally, the organizations launched an interactive website that provides data visualizations to bring the research to life.(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130128/NE48925LOGO) Mapping the Invisible Market will consist of a series of research papers looking at how demographics, income, urbanization, and other issues affect financial inclusion, at a time when over 2 billion people don't use formal financial services.  The first report, Looking Through the Demographic Window, details how profound demographic shifts in the developing world have implications for how people can save, invest, or transfer money.  For example:Over the next decade, 68% of the world's population growth will be in less developed countries. These countries are poised for economic growth ? but they must invest in financial inclusion if all their citizens are to take part. These less developed countries are also aging.  In 1950, 1 in 20 people worldwide was elderly; by 2050 it will be 1 in 5. Financial inclusion policy makers should consider the great need for savings to carry people through their later years."Now is a time of innovation in extending financial services to low income, underserved communities.  MasterCard is exploring many creative possibilities and turning their ideas into operating partnerships around the globe. That's why we're so excited to be working with them," said Elisabeth Rhyne, Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion and a co-author of the report.  "Countries at different demographic stages need to focus on financial inclusion policies that fit their demographic profile. They should promote solutions that address the major life events facing their key population segments."  "We're thrilled to be partnering with The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion.  With half of the world's population still excluded from the formal economy, collaboration between development practitioners and businesses is critical. As we move towards a world beyond cash, we need to leverage technology and education programs that can drive real inclusion and empowerment," said Patricia Devereux, Group Head, Corporate Philanthropy and Citizenship at MasterCard.  The accompanying website will also include findings from the following papers:Growing Income, Growing Inclusion: How rising incomes at the base of the pyramid will shape financial inclusion. The effect of urbanization:  Examines how urbanization affects those who are and are not in the financial mainstream.      And two tools will allow users to customize the information to their own interests:Data Explorer: a dashboard that displays the information from over 80 indicators and geographic areas in bar charts, bubble graphs and maps. Country Profiles: allows users to explore any country or region's financial inclusion and demographic profiles.About MasterCardMasterCard (NYSE: MA), MasterCard, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities ? such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances ? easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.About CSR at MasterCardMasterCard believes all people should have an opportunity to participate in the global economy. However, millions of people around the world lack access to the most basic financial tools. They don't have secure places to save money, reliable ways to transfer it, or safe ways to transport it. Our payment innovations, such as prepaid and mobile solutions, as well as our philanthropic and consumer education programs, bring the benefit of finance to the unbanked and underbanked, helping them build a stronger future for themselves, their families and their communities.About the Center for Financial Inclusion at AccionThe Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) was launched in 2008 to help bring about the conditions to achieve full financial inclusion around the world. Constructing a financial inclusion sector that reaches everyone with quality services will require the combined efforts of many actors. CFI contributes to full inclusion by collaborating with sector participants to tackle challenges beyond the scope of any one actor, using a toolkit that moves from thought leadership to action.About Financial Inclusion 2020FI2020 aims to build a movement that mobilizes stakeholders around the globe to achieve full inclusion using the year 2020 as a focal point to galvanize action. The campaign engages diverse players who can expand financial inclusion through two initiatives: the research project Mapping the Invisible Market and a Roadmap to Financial Inclusion which will be carried out through a consultative process leading to a global forum in 2013, with the ultimate goal to advance the agenda through coordinated, effective, collaborative actions to be undertaken by global partners, both public and private.SOURCE The Center for Financial Inclusion at AccionFor further information: Andrea Snyder, Accion, +1-617-625-7080 Ext. 1010, asnyder@accion.org; James Issokson, MasterCard, +1-914-249-6286, James_Issokson@MasterCard.com; Nicole Ward, MasterCard, +1-914-249-5303, Nicole_Ward@MasterCard.com