Global technology company Mastercard has combined efforts with the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), a prominent training and development organization, to drive financial inclusion in Bahrain and the wider region.
The Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion is part of Mastercard’s broader commitment to connect 500 million people previously excluded from formal financial services. The plan is to achieve that through public-private partnerships with governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.
The partnership entails having the BIBF work with Mastercard Academy, a leading provider of world-class training solutions in the payments space, to design and deliver customized and scalable digital and physical learning courses.
The two parties look to support relevant industry events in Bahrain by providing subject matter expert speakers and panelists with the aim of showcasing their thought leadership.
In addition, Mastercard will leverage its resources, assets, and partners to support BIBF in engaging Bahrain’s students and entrepreneurs, among others.
The BIBF currently trains over 20,000 people in Bahrain from all sectors of the economy, mostly within the banking industry.
With access to over 200 experts from across Mastercard’s global network, Mastercard Academy provides the company’s customers and partners with professional insights, skills, and knowledge, especially on the latest trends in the payments industry.
Mastercard and Africa
The fintech space in Africa has attracted over $3 billion of the overall investment going to tech companies on the continent.
African fintech companies have more than doubled in the last five years.
Despite that, Mastercard believes there is a huge gap to be filled by fintechss operating on a continent still plagued by a huge financial exclusion gap. It is estimated that some 43 percent are banked and about 23 percent deal with mobile money players.
Mastercard aims for the African fintech space to include 1 billion users globally by 2025.
Mastercard recently announced an investment in MTN Group’s fintech business unit, building on a previous partnership with Airtel Africa worth about $100 million.
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