Visa to of­fer fi­nan­cial learn­ing to mil­lions

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By ZHU WENQIAN zhuwen­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Visa Inc, the global card pay­ment ser­vices com­pany, plans to pro­vide fi­nan­cial education and ser­vices to over 5 mil­lion poverty-stricken peo­ple in North­east China, to raise their level of fi­nan­cial knowl­edge.

It will part­ner with China Foun­da­tion for De­vel­op­ment of Fi­nan­cial Education to build China Fi­nan­cial In­clu­sion and Education In­ter­na­tional Demon­stra­tion Zones over the next three years, in Hei­longjiang and Jilin provinces and the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

The fo­cus will be education for the ru­ral pop­u­la­tion, and im­prov­ing knowl­edge within lo­cal fi­nan­cial ser­vice providers.

“Over the past three years, we have par­tic­i­pated in ru­ral fi­nan­cial education ac­tiv­i­ties in cen­tral and western China,” said Charles W. Scharf, Visa’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

“The launch of a se­ries of fi­nan­cial education and ca­pac­ity-build­ing pro­grams has demon­strated our full com­mit­ment to con­tin­u­ously sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ment of fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion in China.”

Visa has also formed a part­ner­ship with the China Foun­da­tion for Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion to con­duct a mo­bile phonebased fi­nan­cial education pi­lot pro­gram in In­ner Mon­go­lia. Over the next three years, the pay­ment gi­ant will of­fer education to farm­ers and herders in eight poor coun­ties in In­nerMon­go­lia to pro­mote In­ter­net fi­nance in the ar­eas.

“The per­va­sive avail­abil­ity of low-cost tech­nol­ogy, no­tably mo­bile phones, drives down the cost of trans­ac­tions and pro­vides con­ve­nient, safe and rea­son­ably priced fi­nan­cial ser­vices to low-in­come in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties,” Scharf said.

In the past decade, Visa has been pro­mot­ing fi­nan­cial education glob­ally.

Last year, it made the com­mit­ment that by 2020 it will have pro­vided an­other 500 mil­lion peo­ple with dig­i­tal pay­ment ac­counts as an en­try point to the fi­nan­cial sys­tem.

China Foun­da­tion for De­vel­op­ment of Fi­nan­cial Education said in ad­di­tion to train­ing, it would sup­port ru­ral fi­nan­cial in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ment, prod­uct in­no­va­tion, pay­ment chan­nel ex­pan­sion and credit sys­tem cre­ation.

The China Foun­da­tion for Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion has de­vel­oped a set of fi­nan­cial train­ing ma­te­ri­als, such as those on fraud preven­tion.

Liu Wenkui, its sec­re­tarygen­eral, said: “Poverty al­le­vi­a­tion re­lies on education.

“We are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices to the ru­ral mar­ket. As our busi­ness ex­pands, the pro­ject will be pro­moted across China.”

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