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What makes a successful commercial partnership?

Delivering digital finance typically requires a complex web of partnerships and coordination. A digital finance provider—whether a bank, a mobile network operator (MNO), or another third party—has to coordinate with a payment service provider that brands and sells the service to the public, a bank to hold the float account and safely store funds, a technology service provider, an agent network manager that provides the distribution, and a communication channel.

Successful partnerships have the potential to provide millions of unbanked communities with access to affordable and convenient financial services. Indeed, collaboration in the digital finance industry can reduce friction in mobile payments and accelerate network effects that will help mobile money achieve its social and commercial potential.In practice however, a decade of mobile money experience demonstrates that partnerships initially tend to struggle.

This snapshot explores what partnerships can look like, the potential business case for commercial partnerships in digital finance, and the business mechanics of such relationships.

FiDA Partnership
The Mastercard Foundation Partnership for Finance in a Digital Africa (the “Partnership”) is an initiative of the Foundation’s Financial Inclusion Program. The Partnership catalyzes knowledge and insights to promote meaningful financial inclusion in an increasingly digital world. Led and hosted by Caribou Digital, the Partnership works closely with leading organizations and companies across the digital finance space. By aggregating and synthesizing knowledge, conducting research to address key gaps, and identifying implications for the diverse actors working in the space, the Partnership strives to inform decisions with facts, and to accelerate meaningful financial inclusion for people across sub-Saharan Africa.

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