MasterCard Foundation Partners Up for a Big Financial Inclusion Data Dig

Global efforts to get the world’s financially excluded populations over to the banked side have been moving at a rapid-fire pace, lately. But while this work is moving quickly, questions abound regarding what types of products and services unbanked populations actually need or want.

The MasterCard Foundation—which has been working at breakneck speed to get the world’s poor populations hooked into to formal financial systems—aims to bring more insights to this area through a joint effort to create a new data facility. This data center will gather and disseminate pertinent information related to the financial necessities of the populations the foundation serves through its financial inclusion grantmaking.

Related: Behind the MasterCard Foundation’s Financial Work in Africa

The MasterCard Foundation’s five-year, $9.6 million joint effort with FinMark Trust and Cenfri of South Africa will create and support “a data facility designed to help financial service providers better understand the needs of their clients.”

FinMark Trust is a Johannesburg, South Africa NGO that receives the majority of its funding through the Department of International Development or DFID. FinMark notes one of its overall goals as “making financial markets work for the poor.” The Center for Financial Regulation, or Cenfri, based in Capetown, South Africa, is an independent think tank with a mission to support financial inclusion and overall financial sector development by advocating for better regulation and “market provision of financial services.”

Related: MasterCard Foundation’s New Prize to Help the Poor Connect to the Financial Mainstream

Up until now, the foundation has largely relied on other outfits such as Global Findex, GSMA Intelligence, and FINclusion Lab to parse out financial services information relevant to The MasterCard Foundation's financial inclusion grantmaking. Seeing as the foundation dedicates some $225 million annually to related efforts, going on its own data dig seems like a pretty good bet. And it looks like it's chosen some pretty heavy hitters to help it along in its financial fact finding mission.