Founded in 1924, WSBI is an international banking association that brings together savings and retail banks from around 80 countries, representing the interests of approximately 6,000 banks in all continents. As a worldwide organization, WSBI focuses on issues of global importance affecting the retail banking industry including specifically supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone. It provides evidence-based thought leadership and advocacy both towards the international community and WSBI's membership, fosters exchanges of experience and best practices among its members and supports their advancement as sound, well-governed and inclusive financial institutions through first class training and consultancy services, which also in turn feed WSBI's knowledge platforms.
WSBI has been awarded a contract by The MasterCard Foundation to conduct a program "to establish the viability of low balance savings accounts and use of customer centric approaches to address barriers faced in access, usage and affordability of savings services". The core activities are to:
- Provide technical assistance to banks to develop savings services that are valued by low-income clients. WSBI will work with seven banks to develop and deliver savings products that not only increase access to financial services but also drive ongoing usage of those services. The banks will be located in Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda. A bank in Tanzania will also act as a knowledge / resource partner.
Partner banks in Kenya, Morocco and Uganda have already been selected and projects will build on previous work conducted in an earlier program supported with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With the exception of Tanzania where the bank has also been pre-selected, in the other countries a call for proposal process will be undertaken to identify and select the most committed and capable partner banks for the program.
- Conduct research and share lessons between partner banks. Research on new pricing models will help establish a business case for low balance savings. Publication of an annual state of the sector report on "Savings and Retail Banking in Africa" will facilitate peer learning and knowledge dissemination. Household research will contribute to the knowledge base on intra-household cash-flows.
- Communicate learnings to the wider sector. WSBI will develop and implement a targeted communications strategy to disseminate the knowledge created by the project to key stakeholders.
- Monitor and evaluate the project. WSBI will monitor the project progress at partner banks and will oversee mid-term and final project evaluations.
The program commences in
September 2016 and will continue until February 2022. The core reference document that describes the rationale and planning
for the program is the proposal approved by the MasterCard Foundation.
The overall management structure envisages the recrutement of :