Mastercard Community Pass showcases apps for underservedNathan (left) said Community Pass is not just a digital platform, it’s a catalyst for change, effectively bridging the gap between underserved communities and essential services. Second left is Anthony Kituuka, Managing Director at Equity Bank Uganda Limited, Meera Shah, Head of Smallholder Farmer Portfolio at Shell Foundation, Esther Kariuki, Head of Agricultural Business at Co-operative Bank of Kenya, and Daniel Huba, Vice President, Community Pass Market Development in Sub Saharan Africa at Mastercard.
During the Second Annual Mastercard Community Pass Customer Summit held in Kampala this week, several innovative applications, including homegrown solutions, were showcased for the delivery of digital and financial services to underserved communities.
Nearly half of the world struggles to meet their basic needs. This includes access to food, education, and healthcare. Technology has brought profound change to the world, yet digitally excluded individuals in remote communities continue to face challenges in terms of breaking the cycle of poverty – especially pertaining to a lack of infrastructure that serves their needs. Community Pass addresses these challenges by facilitating life transactions for the digitally excluded and underserved.
Speaking at the event, Tara Nathan, the Executive Vice President and Founder of Mastercard Community Pass said, “Community Pass is not just a digital platform; it’s a catalyst for change, effectively bridging the gap between underserved communities and essential services. We are excited about coming together to showcase our shared dedication to enhancing digital and financial access, with a focus on addressing the specific needs of our users.”
Just over 90 public and private sector partners in addition to 20 thought leaders gathered to craft sustainable solutions for digital and financial inclusion across Africa and beyond.
Gerald Begumisa, the Managing Director of Yo! Uganda said, “Our continued partnership with Mastercard’s Community Pass has already reached 1.2 million smallholder farmers in Uganda and represents our unwavering commitment towards Uganda’s financial empowerment. This year’s Community Pass Customer Summit being held in the heart of Uganda marks a major stride towards fostering financial resilience, transforming lives, and amplifying prosperity across our nation.”
The summit showcased over 10 cutting-edge technologies and financial institutions, each presenting their digital solutions designed to include underserved communities across the agriculture, health, micro-commerce, and education.
It also featured interactive panel discussions focusing on the impact of digital technology in promoting service delivery and economic growth in remote areas. The sessions explored themes such as credit access, last mile delivery infrastructures, entrepreneurship enablement, digital market systems in agriculture, resilience building for smallholder farmers, and innovative financing for sustainable commercial and social outcomes.
Leveraging Mastercard’s core capabilities, Community Pass is a shared interoperable platform that provides digital infrastructure to both public and private sector players to serve marginalized and frequently offline communities. The platform provides a commercially sustainable approach to scaling service delivery and increasing access to critical services including agriculture, healthcare, and micro-commerce. Community Pass is growing and has already reached nearly five million users globally in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and India.
The Community Pass team announced three major collaborations: the launch of the Yojana card, powered by Community Pass and in collaboration with Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions in India; a collaboration with Shell Foundation and Co-operative Bank of Kenya to provide below-market interest rates to smallholder farmers against lending for green technology; and the reveal of Equity Bank of Uganda’s financial inclusion card. These collaborations are anticipated to drive significant changes in digital and financial inclusion for smallholder farmers and rural communities.
Daniel Huba, Vice President, Community Pass Market Development, Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard said, “Community Pass goes beyond connectivity; it’s about fostering sustainable economic opportunities and welcoming digitally excluded individuals into the formal digital economy. This year’s Summit is a critical move towards this vision, aiming to make digital tools and solutions universally accessible in Africa’s evolving economy.”
Through the Community Pass solution, Mastercard enables rural and marginalized communities, many of whom lack digitized data records, identification documentation, and/or connectivity, to digitally access a network of offline services. As an example, Community Pass enables smallholder farmers to increase their productivity and command higher prices by digitally connecting them to an ecosystem of actors serving the agriculture sector, including product buyers, agricultural inputs providers, financial institutions and more.