As I spoke with Sanjiv Purushotham of MasterCard, I sensed his personal satisfaction working on MasterCard financial inclusion projects in Africa and the Mideast. He grew up in India, married, then took another MasterCard position in Singapore. A few years later, he jumped at another MasterCard opportunity in Dubai, one of the hot spots for entrepreneurs.
Tall buildings surround this metropolis in the UAE desert. Sheikhs and other big-wigs from around the world cut deals in Dubai, an area of the world sporting 76% smartphone penetration.
MasterCard Financial Inclusion Spreads Across Mideast and Africa
Mastercard financial inclusion services helped the Egyptian Central Bank and Etisalat Group, the major telecom company throughout the Mideast, to encourage the unbanked to benefit from mobile money and other financial services.
In 2010, MasterCard won a GSMA award for enabling an ecommerce project in Kenya, the first in the country. Working with Airtel, a major Africa operator, MasterCard enabled consumers to buy digital content in the U.K., Europe and the U.S. Easy enough. Buyers purchased via their virtual cards displayed on mobile phone screens.
In South Africa, MasterCard partnered with the government and NGO’ s to enable mobile money transfer. This helped the country continue moving away from cash to more secure transactions.
Reflecting on these examples, Sanjiv comments that MasterCard follows the “evolution of technology,” solutions particular to geographies and regions. After understanding an area’s needs, it enables a country’s technology for global transactions.
As we finish our conversation, I asked Sanjiv what satisfies him about his work at the end of the day. He responds it’s his feeling of “greater enthusiasm” and “becoming more energetic” of what can be done.
Join Sanjiv and me on a visionary trip through the Mideast and Africa as we discuss MasterCard financial inclusion.
Click here for a podcast interview with Tara Nathan of MasterCard East Africa hosted by Karen Webster.
Sources of Additional Information
MasterCard Foundation on Facebook (Good Source of MasterCard financial inclusion projects)
This is the 8th in a series of articles and podcast interviews with pioneers of the financial inclusion movement. See Carol Realini’s Facebook Page about her forthcoming book “Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pryamid.”
Readers will find all posts in the series by clicking MobileBeyond Financial Inclusion.