Commonwealth Bank, Mastercard to improve financial inclusion for women

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Indonesia’s Commonwealth Bank and Mastercard have announced a collaboration to improve financial inclusion for Indonesian women.

This collaboration under the WISE (Women Investment Series) program features three key pillars: (1) enhancing formal networks by creating knowledge and capability exchange among women-owned businesses; (2) innovating with technology through the development of new digital learning tools and expansion of the WISE App to achieve nationwide scale and impact; and (3) investing in research to understand how together we can advance financial inclusion and equitable economic growth throughout Indonesia.

Commonwealth Bank and Mastercard will help drive the growth of women-owned businesses by improving their business acumen, increasing their understanding of financing, and educating them about customer and market trends.

Additionally, Commonwealth Bank and Mastercard will invest in research to continue the conversation about how together everyone can advance the inclusive and robust growth of the Indonesian economy.

Early in 2017, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK, a.k.a. Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority) released research [PDF] showing that Indonesia’s financial literacy and inclusion indices stood at 29.6% and 67.8%, respectively. OJK called upon the financial services industry to promote and implement financial literacy and inclusion programs to achieve their target of 75% for the financial inclusion index by 2019.

“I am excited for our collaboration with Mastercard as both companies have an ongoing commitment to Indonesia, and helping the Indonesian government realize financial inclusion and financial literacy index targets”, shared Lauren Sulistiawati, President Director, Commonwealth Bank Indonesia.

“By enhancing awareness of and access to financial services, particularly through digital channels, Indonesians will be better equipped to secure their financial wellbeing, hence, advancing the overall Indonesian economy,” said Lauren Sulistiawati, president director of Commonwealth Bank Indonesia. “Through our WISE program, we are particularly focused on Indonesian women as they increasingly have greater financial influence in their personal lives and within the broader local community. Currently, more than 2,500 Indonesian women have joined our WISE face-to-face classes and more than 3,500 people have downloaded our digital platform under WISE Apps to support the finances of the Indonesian women.”

According to the International Finance Corporation [PDF], women-owned businesses make up half of the small and medium enterprises in Indonesia and contribute an estimated 9.1% of GDP.

“Unlocking the full potential of women business leaders to expand their companies will result in reduced income inequality while strengthening small and medium enterprises as engines of growth for the Indonesian economy,” said Safdar Khan, division president of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei at Mastercard.

Commonwealth Bank and Mastercard said this particular initiative is the beginning of a global collaboration, with plans to replicate a similar model of financial inclusion in other international markets.

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