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MM4P - Expanding Digital Financial Services to Benin, Senegal and Zambia

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Mobile Money for the Poor Expansion to Benin, Senegal and Zambia - Launch Event UNCDF, the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs),has partnered with The MasterCard Foundation to expand a flagship programme that will enable three million low-income clients in Africa to access mobile financial services for the first time. Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) has been in operation since 2012, supported by UNCDF, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. New support from The MasterCard Foundation, $24.9 million over five years, will increase mobile-enabled delivery channels for financial services to the most economically disadvantaged people in three countries: Benin, Senegal, and Zambia. While access to mobile financial services has made great strides in several countries, notably in Africa, LDCs present special challenges: they tend to have smaller populations and smaller transaction volumes, and are more rural than other countries. Physical infrastructure (roads, electricity and mobile signal coverage) is often limited, making it costly to maintain financial service infrastructure. As well, mobile network operators and financial services providers tend to invest less, seeing less mass market potential. The expanded Mobile Money for the Poor is expected to begin operations by mid-2015. By the close of the five-year programme, 10-12 percent of the adult population in Benin, Senegal, and Zambia should be able to conduct financial services via mobile channels on a regular basis. http://uncdf.org/en/mm4p