The Mastercard Farmer Network, previously known as 2KUZE, received the Best AgTech solution award at the Digital Inclusion Awards recently held in Nairobi, Kenya. The awards recognise key business players in various sectors that have adopted innovative technology that offers efficient, convenient and life changing products or services to their clients.
The Mastercard Farmer Network (MFN) platform, was developed by the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi. The Mastercard Lab was set up in 2015 with the goal of impacting more than 100 million people globally by developing practical and cost-effective financial tools that expand access and help build stable futures over the long term. Through the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lab is working with local entrepreneurs, governments and other stakeholders across East Africa and globally to develop practical, cost-effective digital payment solutions that will help expand access to finance and build an efficient, inclusive and cashless economy.
“We are proud to have won this award. At Mastercard we strongly believe that together with the government and key stakeholders in the agriculture value chain, we can improve access to and use of formal financial services, which will ultimately deliver inclusive growth and empower communities across the globe. The award is further recognition of our commitment to the markets we operate in and our goal of changing lives,” says Salah Goss, Vice President Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion. “Mastercard has been at the forefront of using innovative technology to find solutions for challenges facing the continent. I believe that we have struck the perfect balance between using innovation, technology and an understanding of behaviour change to implement solutions that not only impact the day-to-day activities of millions of Africans, but also affect how we do business.”
Through the successful introduction of Mastercard Farmer Network solution, which helps small-scale farmers looking to sell their produce to connect with the right buyers more efficiently in the local language and receive the best possible prices, Mastercard has been able to bring the benefits and security of mobile commerce and payments to farmers in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and more recently India. By digitizing payments and work flows, this solution creates a digital transaction history allowing farmers to receive formal credit from banks and other financial institutions.
“The company remains fully committed to delivering solutions that build inclusive ecosystems and consequently drive a cashless society. With 2.5 billion adults living without access to mainstream financial tools and services, there is an urgent need to speed up the creation of commercially viable products and services for the unbanked and underbanked on a global scale,” concludes Goss.
The Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion Nairobi seeks to create ground-breaking solutions that will impact 100 million people by helping them manage risk better, financially plan for the future and lead empowered lives. With the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lab bring together Mastercard’s innovation and global financial inclusion capabilities under one roof, combining these with local expertise and insight.
Mastercard Lab feature innovation hubs globally in New York, Miami, St Louis, Silicon Valley, Dublin, Nairobi, Singapore, Pune and Sydney.