Mastercard has joined with other financial services and technology leaders to launch the Tech for Good Partnership, a first-of-its-kind private sector agreement to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Sharing a commitment to doing well by doing good, the Tech for Good Partnership pledges to use their resources, assets, and expertise to prioritise digital and financial inclusion efforts in the wake of COVID-19. Founding partners include Bancolombia, Banco Galicia, Citibanamex; and FinTechs Mercado Libre and PayPal.
In the initial activities, they will focus on developing concrete initiatives in specific markets to expand basic financial services like long-standing access to credit, disbursements of much-need financial aid, and educational tools and resources to the millions of Latin Americans who are currently vulnerable. Over time, the Partners will share best practices and initiative outcomes with the broader financial services industry for the betterment of the ecosystem, via organised virtual events, white papers, and publications, among others.
The Latin America tech boom witnessed over the past few years has become an enabler for so many to gain access to goods and services during a time of social distancing. However, many micro-businesses still lack the ability to sell their goods online. As part of the Partnership efforts, the group will work on ways to develop digital resiliency programs for the millions of micro and small businesses unable to get back to work. According to Mastercard research, eCommerce has grown exponentially in Latin America where 54% of Colombians, 52% of Brazilians and 46% of Mexicans have indicated they intend to purchase more online.
“Technology has the power to change the reality for the millions of individuals and businesses unprepared to meet today’s challenges,” said Carlo Enrico, President, Mastercard Latin America and Caribbean. “As the digital economy grows exponentially, the role of businesses must also grow to unite the best minds, resources and efforts with a singular focus: to build an inclusive economy in the region. This can be a game changer for so many.”
Earlier this year, Mastercard pledged 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. The Tech for Good Partnership will play a critical role in working towards achieving this global goal.
“As individuals and small businesses navigate the health and economic implications of the pandemic, they are in need of digital financial tools that put them on a path towards long-term financial security,” said Mike Froman, vice chairman of Mastercard. “The idea behind the Tech for Good Partnership is that leaders in the private sector can come together and harness their best assets – tools, technology, insights and expertise – in order to put the digital economy to work for individuals and small businesses in the region. We look forward to working with all of our partners during a time when innovation and digital solutions are needed more than ever.”
The Tech for Good Partnership members represent large organisations operating in Latin America that have a strong focus on leveraging innovation and technology to drive meaningful and sustainable inclusive growth. The initiative represents the first high-level private-private partnership to further digital and financial inclusion in the region. They have already been championing efforts independently and are now committed to leveraging each other’s strengths in technology and innovation, to create transformative business models and improve people’s financial lives.