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Mastercard commits to connect 1 billion people to the digital economy by 2025

Mastercard, FinTech, paymentsWith the prevalence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Mastercard has expanded its worldwide commitment to financial inclusion by pledging to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. As part of this effort, there will be a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.

“If we’re going to recover in any sort of long-term, sustainable way, we have to make sure that everyone is included. Getting people access to the digital economy is a critical part of that,” said Ajay Banga, Chief Executive Officer at Mastercard. “This is so much more than philanthropy. This is an opportunity to develop commercially-sustainable and scalable social impact with government and private sector partners – and to do it in a way that helps society-at-large thrive.”

The impact of COVID-19 has made it even more pressing to support inclusive growth in Asia Pacific, which is home to 60 per cent of the world’s population.

“The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the power of the digital economy to sustain societies and commerce during times of great adversity. It has also shown the extreme disadvantage faced by small businesses and people who cannot participate. For individuals, gaining access to the digital economy means being able to use affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance,” said Ling Hai, Co-President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

“For SMEs, access to the digital economy allows them to manage expenses and invoices and to automate and secure processes, freeing up valuable time and resources to focus on other aspects of running their businesses. SMEs are the foundation of Asia Pacific economies, making up more than 96% of all businesses and providing two-thirds of private-sector jobs, so bringing them into the digital economy is a powerful force multiplier for societies. The urgent need to do so has never been greater.”

In India and Indonesia, Mastercard is introducing the Micro Credit Platform that opens access to credit for shopkeepers who historically have been locked out of the financial system. The company’s Digital Wages Toolkit has been tested in Bangladesh with more than 10,000 women garment workers and has been adapted and translated for use in Cambodia.

Mastercard Academy 2.0 has been launched in Indonesia that is designed to engage and impart essential digital knowledge to different segments of the population. In Vietnam, the company is working with CARE International to assist banks and FinTechs to tailor financial services and products to bring women into the financial system and catalyze business growth among women entrepreneurs. The goal is to reach more than 1 million Vietnamese women.

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