MasterCard Aims to Include 40 Million Micro and Small Merchants
MasterCard announced it intends to bring 40 million micro and small merchants into its electronic payments network within the next five years.
This expands MasterCard’s Universal Financial Access 2020 commitment, which has focused on giving the world’s two billion underserved and unbanked citizens access to transaction accounts and purchasing tools, such as credit cards and mobile payment technology. The company has delivered its services to more than 200 million people since 2013, and is committed to reaching at least 500 million by 2020.
MasterCard is currently:
- Collaborating with the Rwandan government to move 90% of the country’s citizens into the financial mainstream.
- Helping the Egyptian government roll out a digital ID program that would link a citizens’ national ID to a mobile money platform, allowing 54 million Egyptians to participate in the formal electronic economy.
- Working with Bangladesh, bKash, Western Union and BRAC Bank in Bangladesh to create an international remittance service that allows BKash’s 22 million customers to receive international remittances directly to their bKash mobile wallet.
- Partnering with the U.S. Department of Treasury and Comerica Bank to deliver financial benefits electronically. They also launched a mobile app to give Americans easy access to their account information.
- Expanding real-time mobile payments alongside Vodafone and HomeSend in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Albania.
These programs have seen limited success, though, as most of the underserved shop at micro or small merchants that do not accept electronic payments. When this happens, accounts aren’t used or the funds are withdrawn from ATMs.
“Real financial inclusion happens when people can use their new financial accounts to do what many of us take for granted,” said Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard. “Helping micro and small merchants connect to electronic payments will accelerate adoption and usage of new financial tools for the unbanked and will have a true impact on people’s daily lives.”
MasterCard started working with the IFC to help micro, small and medium enterprises gain access to electronic payments.