We partner with leading development organizations to understand the financial needs of the underserved and to deliver on-the-ground programs to meet those needs.
Visa, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, Citi, the UN Capital Development Fund, Ford Foundation, and Omidyar Network, has formed the Better Than Cash Alliance to accelerate the transition from cash to electronic payments. Through this partnership, Visa will help raise awareness of the lasting benefits of electronic payments, including expanding financial inclusion, empowering recipients, reducing costs, increasing transparency and security and creating access to new markets. The Alliance will provide technical and financial resources to governments, the development community and the private sector in order to help them make the transition and realize the benefits of electronic payments.
In Ghana, Visa is working with CARE to provide community savings groups in remote areas with access to full–service banking using mobile technology. CARE community savings groups (known as Village Savings & Loan Associations or VSLAs) can open and operate a savings account without visiting a physical bank branch. VSLA members can withdraw and deposit money, earn interest on savings, pay bills, transfer money and get account statements using their mobile phones.
Visa’s partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is focused on increasing women’s access to financial services in Nigeria. The project will result in 2,500 women becoming agents in the retail network of a leading financial services provider. As retail agents, they will bring branchless banking and mobile financial services to tens of thousands more women in Nigeria. Alongside the retail agent opportunities, the women involved will also benefit from training and capacity building support.
Founded in 1992, China Foundation for Development of Financial Education (CFDFE) is an NGO supervised by the People’s Bank of China that aims to alleviate poverty through financial education. In January 2013, Visa and CFDFE formed a strategic partnership to provide financial education to central and western China. The partnership will see Visa and CFDFE investing expertise and resources in the Jinhui Project, a program designed to provide financial education and expand financial inclusion in impoverished areas in China. Over the next two years, the Jinhui Project will teach basic personal finance knowledge through local workshops and travel through China with the China Financial Literacy Visa Travelling Bus.
Visa, the Citi Foundation and the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion founded the Financial Inclusion 2020 initiative focused on the goal of achieving a world with universal access to quality financial services through collaboration among leading companies, NGOs and policymakers. Using the year 2020 as a focal point to galvanize action, Financial Inclusion 2020 has engaged a diverse group of actors to develop and advance a comprehensive strategy that will impact the lives of financially excluded individuals worldwide.
The GSMA mWomen Global Development Alliance aims to improve women’s lives through access to financial services, education and healthcare through mobile technology. While mobile financial services offer an unparalleled opportunity to advance financial inclusion, 300 million fewer women than men own mobile phones.
Visa has partnered with the Inter–American Development Bank (IDB) to promote financial inclusion for residents of Complexo do Alemão, an underserved community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visa will help IDB use sports, health and local educational programs to drive social development and inclusion. Visa’s collaboration with IDB will provide the community with innovative solutions that give them expanded access to the formal financial system, offer individuals and local business owners free financial consultancy services and enable local classes in financial literacy.
Visa has worked with Kiva.org, the world’s first personal microlending website, to expand economic inclusion opportunities for U.S. small businesses through access to microloans. American small businesses are a vital component of economic growth. However, according to a 2011 study commissioned by Kiva and Visa, smaller businesses tend to be vulnerable and go out of business more frequently than larger firms, often due to the difficulty of accessing small loans. Supported by Visa's $1.5 million in contributions, Kiva launched a new program, “Kiva City,” to bring the Kiva lending platform to more areas across the United States. The program is helping more small businesses tap into the capital provided by Kiva’s global network of more than 600,000 lenders.
Visa’s partnership with the MicroPension Foundation establishes a Financial Inclusion Lab as an incubator of innovative payment solutions, targeting 140 million low income, unbanked, informal sector individuals. The Lab will provide access to affordable, micro–savings and pension products from regulated financial institutions.
As part of the Public–Private Partnership formed in December 2011, Visa and the Government of Rwanda committed to a series of twelve initiatives designed to accelerate the adoption of electronic financial services in Rwanda. In 2013, Visa and the Government of Rwanda extended the partnership with a fresh Charter of Collaboration. As with the initial charter, the ten initiatives for 2013 fall within three broad domains: lay foundations for electronic payments, promote electronic payments innovation, and capacity building.