As the world watched the U.S. Presidential election come to a conclusion on Tuesday, a new MasterCard (NYSE:MA) survey confirms the economy, health care, and taxes remain top of mind for Americans.
But the findings also uncovered an outlier: when the 1,000 plus Americans surveyed learned that as many as 88 million Americans* lack access to basic financial services including a traditional savings or checking account or access to credit, two-thirds said it's an issue to be addressed.
When asked how financial inclusion would factor in determining their vote, about one-third of Americans interviewed said it would be important. The vote importance is higher among males ages 18-54 with 41% stating that financial inclusion would be important as well as unmarried Americans (single, never married, divorced, separated and widowed) with 42% considering the issue important. Interestingly, the survey found no difference in opinion on financial inclusion as a voting issue by income level.
"Lack of access to the global economy excludes people from being able to buy goods and services, to borrow and save, or to invest in their future," said Walt Macnee, vice chairman, MasterCard Worldwide. "It is important to advance the dialogue between public, private and government entities in order to ensure that 2.5 billion** people who are unbanked globally have the same services as those in the financial mainstream."
In an effort to advance a public-private dialogue on the issue, MasterCard is hosting a Financial Inclusion Dialogue as part of its Cashless Conversations Series on November 13th. The Company will convene experts across financial services, non-governmental organizations - including The World Bank, academia and other key stakeholders to discuss strategies and share best practices for increasing financial inclusion.
The cashless conversation will evaluate the progress in developing new business models as well as products and partnerships to reach the "last mile" toward reaching the 2.5 billion adults in the U.S. and around the globe currently underserved by traditional financial services.