Uganda’s Sarah Asiimwe no longer needs to spend a lot of money and time traveling to the countryside to buy produce for her market stall—or fear for her security when carrying cash. Instead, she now orders, pays, and saves by phone using Airtel Money, one of the 16 African mobile money services receiving IFC advisory support to develop high quality and standards
“It helps me keep my money secure. I always deposit my money, and when I need it, I withdraw it,” she says. “Since I am a businesswoman I have to keep doing that to keep my money safely.”
Financial inclusion has doubled in Uganda in recent years, mainly through mobile money and agent banking. The country now has 5 million mobile money customers—many of them people like Sarah who had previously been left out of the financial sector.
The Partnership for Financial Inclusion is IFC’s flagship program on digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa, a $37.4 million joint initiative with the MasterCard Foundation and other partners that so far has reached 3.8 million mobile money customers.