FinMark Trust has partnered with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Cenfri to develop and deliver the Making Access to Financial Services Possible (MAP) initiative. MAP seeks to advance financial inclusion and support expanding access to an appropriate portfolio of financial services for individuals and micro and small businesses that are either underserved or un-served. An appropriate portfolio of financial services includes effective access to credit, savings, payments and insurance products. These products have the potential to improve the welfare of lower income people by helping to conduct and manage their financial lives more efficiently, increase income, better manage risks and build up wealth over time.
To achieve this end, MAP looks to understand what drives financial services usage by delivering an integrated view of demand, supply and regulation across all four financial services markets (payments, credit, savings and insurance). Within each country MAP uses a dialogue and evidence-based approach to align a broad range of stakeholders from government, private sector and donor community to create a set of practical actions aimed at extending financial inclusion tailored to a specific country. At the global level, MAP intends to build up evidence over multiple countries to identify cross-cutting themes within financial inclusion approaches and strategies that can inform the global dialogue around key issues.
MAP is currently being implemented in Swaziland, Lesotho and Mozambique and has contributed to establishing steering committees and task teams to support financial inclusion in these countries. The financial inclusion diagnostics have identified key priority areas to improve financial inclusion in these countries. During 2014 roadmaps will be developed to engage stakeholders to identify key activities to implement these priority areas.