The slowing poverty reduction progress since 2015 has been set back further by COVID-19 and the global extreme poverty rate rose in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years. The triple threat of COVID-19, conflict and climate change makes the global goal of ending poverty by 2030 beyond reach unless immediate and substantial policy actions are implemented.
Content from the UN, read more here.
Financial inclusion is key to reducing extreme poverty. Nevertheless, many people, especially women, still lack access to financial services with close to 1.7 billion adults currently un-banked. Without the ability to transfer money, people are limited in their ability to save, access loans, start a business and even be paid.
In 2007, together with our Kenyan associate, Safaricom, we developed the first mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa. With a mobile phone and an M-Pesa account, people on low incomes have more control over their financial affairs. M-Pesa is also widely used to pay salaries, pensions, agricultural subsidies and government grants.
As of March 2021, 48.3 million customers were using M-Pesa, with over 15.2 billion transactions made through a network of more than 918,500 agents.