Grameen America announced a collaboration with Citi and Mastercard to provide financial technology solutions that will assist low-income minority women entrepreneurs. The aim is to improve the organization's ability to promote digital financial access. The project will target more than more than 86,000 low-income minority women entrepreneurs across the United States.
The most important advancement in the project will be a cloud-based Management Information System that will allow Grameen America to modernize and standardize its back-office processes. The new system will allow the employees to enter real time data on women entrepreneurs on the system so as to better analyze the impact of its services. Another part of the project is the introduction of reloadable disbursement Mastercard cards issued by Citi Prepaid Services that Grameen America will use to deliver microloans to its members instead of using bank checks, which can be costly and need to be cashed. These cards will provide many women entrepreneurs, many of whom previously unbanked, a flexible way to access their funds instead of carrying around large sums of cash.
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“According to new data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), more than 33 million households are either unbanked or underbanked, living without the ability to safely save and build financial security,” Bob Annibale, global director of Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance, said. “These important technology upgrades will strengthen Grameen America’s infrastructure and expand their ability to bring more low-income women entrepreneurs into the financial mainstream.”
“Solving the need for digital banking services among low-income communities in the United States is a pressing priority,” Andrea Jung, president and CEO of Grameen America, said. “This collaboration represents a perfect marriage of the key players in technology and financial services coming together to empower women entrepreneurs through access to capital, credit- and asset-building services.”