The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and Visa Inc., a global leader in the payments industry, have today signed a strategic partnership agreement that will enable close collaboration and knowledge exchange within the framework of AFI’s Public-Private Dialogue Platform (PPD).
Taking part in the official signing ceremony was Visa Inc.’s Vice Chairman, Ellen Richey, and the Executive Director for AFI, Alfred Hannig.
The agreement builds on a long history of cooperation and knowledge exchange between AFI and Visa Inc. In January 2015, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, AFI and Visa Inc. together hosted a high level meeting which introduced the AFI PPD to a broader range of private sector leaders. There was consensus among all that financial inclusion is a key driver for economic growth and stability, and that systematic private sector input in the policymaking process would enhance innovation and accelerate growth. The AFI PPD was seen as a unique platform to discuss products, approaches and policy solutions that advance financial inclusion in developing and emerging markets. As part of their partnership agreement, AFI and Visa Inc. will make the high level dialogue in Davos an annual event.
Having Visa Inc. as one of the founding members of the PPD platform sets high expectations for what can be achieved. Visa Inc. offers unique knowledge, resources and technical expertise, which will be invaluable in supporting AFI programs and activities. Visa Inc. will (i) contribute to AFI’s capacity building program for policymakers; (ii) provide systematic knowledge input to AFI’s Working Groups, including in the area of digital financial services; (iii) increase knowledge sharing on financial inclusion data that informs policy decisions; and (iv) facilitate working together with other partners to ensure the long-term sustainability and impact of the AFI PPD. Through these activities, AFI and Visa Inc. hope to strengthen, promote and accelerate the adoption of financial inclusion innovations and good practices.
AFI’s Alfred Hannig highlighted the potential impact of this partnership. “AFI has championed the benefits of financial inclusion knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer exchanges within our network for years, and we have seen impressive results. Now, by combining our experience and knowledge with a partner like Visa, we will see exponential growth in financial inclusion’s impact, and I am confident an exponential reduction in the number of financially excluded people around the world.”
At the ceremony Visa’s Ellen Richey recognized the dedication of AFI members to advancing financial inclusion, a commitment that Visa also shares. “Lack of access to basic financial services inhibits growth, weakens economic prosperity and disempowers billions. Universal financial access for all isn’t just a humanitarian goal; its core to our business model and rooted in our mission to be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere,” said Ellen Richey, Vice Chairman, Visa.
She went on to highlight that public-private dialogue is vital to smart decision making and is key to further progress. AFI’s PPD is a unique platform that highlights opportunities, identifies challenges and showcases innovation for advancing financial inclusion throughout the world.