The MasterCard Foundation launched its 2017 Clients at the Centre Prize competition as it invited applications from financial service providers for the US$150,000 in prize money. Awarded annually, the Prize recognizes a financial service provider, working with poor people in developing countries, that demonstrates outstanding client-centric behaviour.
The MasterCard Foundation Clients at the Centre Prize was first awarded in 2015 to the Swedish mobile micro insurance firm BIMA. Last year, the Prize recognized the South African international remittance company Hello Paisa. Each competition drew nearly 100 applicants from companies around the world.
A key feature of the Prize is that the final decision about who receives it is made by an audience of approximately 300 financial inclusion industry professionals, gathered at the Foundation’s annual Symposium on Financial Inclusion. The top three finalists in the competition present their companies to the audience which then votes on which of the three is the most client-centric.
Prize applicants must be commercial providers of financial products and services to low-income populations in developing countries. Applicants can be non-traditional players such as mobile network operators, IT or mobile-enabled technology companies, agribusinesses that provide financial services, or others. Applicants can also be traditional financial service providers (commercial banks, micro-finance institutions) or companies providing non-bank products and services such as leasing or insurance companies.
- This year, the top five applicants will be invited to attend The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion in Accra, Ghana, on November 8-9, 2017.
- The top three finalists will present on their client-centric practices to the audience, which will decide who wins the Prize.