Ooredoo gets behind World Bank financial access efforts

Source: Ooredoo

Ooredoo today announced that it is one of the companies supporting the World Bank Group’s efforts to promote financial inclusion and deliver universal financial access by the year 2020, following a major event in Washington D.C. earlier this month.

To support the goal, Ooredoo has committed to providing 17 million people with mobile financial services by 2020, across diverse markets including Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Indonesia, Myanmar, Algeria, Maldives and Iraq.

The World Bank Group’s 2020 goal calls for adults around the world to have access to a transaction account or an electronic instrument to store money, send and receive payments. It recognises that financial access is a basic building block for people to manage their financial life.

Ooredoo has emerged as a pioneer in mobile financial services in recent years, serving more than three million customers in Qatar, Tunisia and Indonesia, with plans in place to launch in Iraq in the near future. The company has recently announced the launch of payroll services for companies to pay salaries directly to mobile in Qatar, in partnership with QNB. The company has also delivered microfinance services in Tunisia and two pilot microfinance programmes in Indonesia.

Additionally, Indosat, which is part of Ooredoo, has partnered with insurance companies in Indonesia to offer personal insurance via mobile.

In signing up to the World Bank Group initiative, Ooredoo is joining a broad coalition of partners to support the 2020 Goal across its footprint in North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo, said: “Ooredoo supports the development of human growth across our footprint, and mobile connectivity plays a critical role in helping to achieve financial access for all. Building a strong mobile money ecosystem is an important part of this. In support of the World Bank’s goal of universal financial access by 2020, we are proud to commit to 17 million mobile financial services customers during this time period across diverse markets including Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Indonesia, Tunisia, Myanmar, Algeria, Maldives and Iraq.”

He continued: “Ooredoo already has three million mobile financial services customers, and we are also working closely with other operators to deliver Mobile Money Interoperability to enable customers to manage and access money across borders and devices in a seamless environment.

Another critical aspect of delivering on our commitment will be continuing our efforts to help every woman have an equal opportunity to get connected to the internet and thereby access mobile financial services. In addition to these women advancing their economic lives, education and wellbeing, they will be empowered to help those of their partner and children and contribute to the development of their communities as well.”

The World Bank Group’s commitment builds on and scales up support to governments to create an enabling environment for private-sector innovation and investment. Priority actions include reforms to eliminate or reduce cost or distance barriers to opening and using accounts, measures that increase the viability of new technology and business models to reach the financially excluded.

“Galvanizing private-sector investment and innovation and strengthening policy and regulatory frameworks, will be critical to meeting the ambitious target of universal financial access by the year 2020,” said Peer Stein, Director, Finance & Markets Global Practice, World Bank Group. “From our side, we are not only actively convening and energizing a coalition of partners, but also committing to enabling as many as one billion adults, who are now financially excluded, to gain access to a transaction account.”

The 2020 commitment will help empower a significant portion of the two billion people around the world who remain without accounts and help propel the global momentum for meeting the universal financial access.  

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