Today, Visa’s Chairman and CEO, Joe Saunders, joined with the President and CEO of Women’s World Banking to announce that our two organizations are partnering to advance financial inclusion for women in Nigeria. As part of the announcement, they shared their perspectives in an editorial in the Huffington Post about how financial inclusion can help transform the lives of women in emerging markets.
Nearly 2.5 billion people – almost half the world’s adult population – do not have access to formal financial services. Without basic payments and savings accounts, money often is kept in cash under the mattress then moved around from person to person, drastically increasing the risk of theft or loss. Even a task as simple as paying a bill – in person and via cash – can be unsafe, costly and time-consuming. The implications of this financial exclusion are significant and far-reaching, reinforcing the cycle of poverty and slowing economic progress.
In emerging economies around the world, this can be a particular challenge for women. In Nigeria, for example, nearly 77 percent of women lack access to financial services. Yet, they often serve as the primary financial managers in most families, expected to stretch meager and irregular incomes to meet daily household needs, not to mention long-term budgeting for life’s unexpected shocks.
The initiative in Nigeria that was announced today will help provide women there with an opportunity to become economically and socially empowered through access to a savings account.
Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on April 12, 2012 at 7:31 am