We live in a world that is constantly changing and our stakeholders’ expectations are constantly changing too. One of the recent lessons learned is that the pandemic pushed acceleration into the digital arena much faster than expected, resulting in a world that has changed forever.
In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic put into stark contrast the plight of the digitally excluded and how those connected to digital services were in a better situation to survive and thrive. Not only that, COVID-19 demonstrated how critical affordable digital access is to health care, education and financial services.
Digital financial inclusion as such is not only a concept but a responsibility. Earlier this year, Western Union joined other like-minded companies and partners, as part of the World Economic Forum’s EDISON Alliance. Together we just announced a pledge to collectively improve the lives of 1 billion people through digital inclusion.
As part of our commitment, Western Union aims to enable 300 million people to digitally connect to the global economy through mobile wallets by 2025.
The 1 Billion Lives Challenge aims to drive change and harness businesses, organizations and governments together to reimagine a digitally inclusive future that allows everyone to digitally connect, and increase affordable digital access to health care, finance and education by 2025. To that end, Western Union is working alongside our partners on reaching wallets such as M-Pesa, MTN, Airtel, Tigo and Orange in Africa and BKash, GCash and AliPay in Asia to build these digital bridges and drive usage.
Together, we will also help to create a trustworthy, safe environment, invest in customer education and design products that are tailored for our senders and receivers.
Finally, Western Union worked alongside Mastercard and others such as GSMA, Barclays, Vista Equity Partners, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and WEF to develop and publish the Shared Principles for an Inclusive Financial System. These guidelines are designed for all participants in the financial ecosystem with the objective to encourage a systematic approach to financial inclusion that is economically sustainable, commercially viable and powered by data, trust and effective regulations.
People in Western Union believe that when money moves fluidly, good things happen. A child goes to school, a business expands, emergency aid arrives the moment it is needed.
Visit the website to find out more about the 1 Billion Lives Challenge and join the pledge.