Central America
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DFC and Mastercard Partnership Tackles Digital Divide in Central America

Mastercard has joined forces with the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to help deepen financial inclusion in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

DFC and Mastercard unveiled their first joint programme during the Ninth Summit of the Americas, an international conference held in Los Angeles, in response to the Call to Action for Central America.

In May 2021, as part of her role addressing the root causes of migration from Central America, Vice President Kamala Harris launched the Call to Action for businesses and social enterprises to make significant commitments to promote economic opportunity for people in the region.

Designed to deepen financial inclusion in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador in order to create economic opportunity for individuals and small businesses, the Call to Action for Northern Central America has generated more than $3.2billion in private sector investments since its launch last year.

DFC and Mastercard also introduced BAC Credomatic and Fundacion Genesis as the first two local financial institutions to further these efforts.

“DFC’s collaboration with Mastercard will spur additional private sector investment to drive economic growth and development in Central America,” said Scott Nathan, CEO at DFC. “DFC and Mastercard’s work focuses on expanding digital tools, boosting financial inclusion, and enabling small businesses in the region to grow and succeed. Financing under the partnership prioritises job creation in Central America, addressing a key root cause of migration.”

The initiative

During the launch of the initiative, Mastercard highlighted progress to date on its Call to Action commitment to include five million people in northern Central America into the financial system and digitalise one million micro and small businesses, leveraging its insights, innovation and technology to improve access to vital services and drive inclusive economic growth.

This initiative will center on enabling individuals and businesses to pay and get paid digitally, securely, and efficiently. It will also include reaching previously underserved communities with digital tools to transact, get access to credit, and develop a credit history.

DFC plans financing for BAC Credomatic and Genesis, with a focus on economically empowering women. Mastercard is investing alongside its partners BAC and Genesis in developing the digital tools to be deployed to reach these segments of society.

Michael Froman, vice chairman and president for strategic growth for Mastercard, said: “This work requires collaboration across the public and private sectors, work like that we’re doing with the DFC to ensure access to necessary financial tools and resources. Because when we ensure inclusion in the digital economy, we open pathways to prosperity. Now more than ever, it’s critical we focus on building a sustainable, inclusive digital economy.”

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