73% of Pinoys are unbanked
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - May 26, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - An estimated 2.5 billion people of the world’s population are excluded from this financial system, 50 percent of which comprised of mostly women while the young people make up 40 percent, according to an international payments industry.

In East Asia alone, 600 million people have access to financial inclusion, said Shamina Singh, executive director of MasterCard Worldwide’s Center for Inclusive Growth.

During Saturday’s Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions 2014 Summit held at held at Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, Singh called on the government and the public sector to address global issues such as financial inclusion and transparency.

Singh cited that 73percent of the Philippine population is unbanked and financially undeserved which means less access to financial products and services such as debit card and back account.

People should take advantage of using the technology as it is one of the key to solve people’s exclusion from financial system, Singh said adding that most of today’s people including the unbanked have access to mobile technology.

She told summit participants that concerned sectors must find solutions to help those barred from joining the economic mainstream.

‘Cash kills progress’

Singh, also vice president for government services and solutions at MasterCard, noted cash payments are expensive and also are at risk to outflow. It also increases the possibility of people getting corrupted.

“Cash keeps the poor vulnerable and voiceless,” she further added. “Cash prevents economies from reaching their potential growth.”

A case in point is South Africans who are now taking advantage of a more convenient way of getting their social security benefits in a secure MasterCard debit card, she said, adding also that they are seeking help from a technology firm to urge grocery stores and small shops to accept card payments.

She stressed the government’s role in establishing a more inclusive financial accessibility is critical, saying the governments around the world have to prove to uplift people leading to a financially included world.

MasterCard Worldwide works with government and public sector stakeholders to influence MasterCard technology to switch public programs from paper to electronic and also advocates financial inclusion and transparency.

 

DURING SATURDAY EAST ASIA NEW CHAMPIONS FINANCIAL HOTEL MACTAN ISLAND CEBU IN EAST ASIA INCLUSIVE GROWTH OPEN COLLABORATION PEOPLE SHAMINA SINGH SOUTH AFRICANS
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