Believe that mobile platforms can drive social and financial inclusion
Women more likely to spend on healthier and sustainable lifestyles for their families
TATA Communications and MasterCard said they aim to financially empower 25,000 women in the developing world, part of a larger vision to ultimately reach 100 million women.
They said they would join forces with a network of partners including Brightstar Corp, Kiva, Tone, Trickle Up and the Hidary Foundation to bring their shared vision to life over the next five years through access to transformative mobile platforms comprising a range of financial, health and education applications and services.
The two companies made this commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting closing plenary, Tata Communications said in a statement.
“Three billion people will come online over the next decade primarily from the developing world,” said Rangu Salgame, chief executive officer of the Growth Ventures Group at Tata Communications.
“We now have our generation’s greatest opportunity to unshackle women from endless cycles of poverty and dependency by providing them with access to information and economic opportunities.
“With this programme, Tata Communications and MasterCard are embarking on a journey to harness the long-term potential of the next three billion online,” he added.
In developing countries, 200 million fewer women than men are online, and 300 million fewer women own a mobile phone, Tata Communications said, citing The Full Participation Report by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Yet, research also shows that the impact of empowering women financially is tremendous, starting with their ability to raise the living standard of the entire household given that they are more likely to spend their income on establishing healthier and sustainable lifestyles for their families, the company said.
“Two billion adults globally, the majority of them women, still don’t have a safe and easy way to receive, store and use their money,” said MasterCard vice chairman Walt Macnee.
“We see an opportunity and responsibility to empower women with access to and control over their finances through digital financial tools. By financially including women around the globe, we take an important step towards poverty alleviation, equality and economic prosperity,” he added.
Tata Communications and MasterCard said they and their network of partners will realise this vision by taking a non-linear implementation approach as is often taken in the technology sector.
The programme will kick off with pilot projects in India, Nigeria, Indonesia and Guatemala, targeting 25,000 women. The replication of these microcosms will enable scale with a vision to reach 100 million women by 2020, they added.
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