Mastercard, ADB ink MOU to boost financial inclusion

Keisha Ta-Asan - The Philippine Star
Mastercard, ADB ink MOU to boost financial inclusion
ADB and Mastercard have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to advance financial inclusion and drive digital transformation across the Asia-Pacific region. In photo are Yasemin Bedir, divisional president, Eastern Europe, Mastercard and Bhargav Dasgupta, vice president for market solutions, ADB.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Global payments company Mastercard has tied up with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to boost financial inclusion and digital transformation in the Philippines and across the Asia Pacific region.

Mastercard said the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the ADB was signed in early May and highlights the shared vision of both organizations to empower micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and women-owned businesses.

“Mastercard has an extensive history of supporting MSMEs, and is committed to further collaborating with ADB in the Philippines to drive greater financial inclusion, broaden credit access and ensure a safe and secure digital ecosystem for the evolving landscape,” Mastercard country manager for the Philippines Simon Calasanz said in a statement.

According to the payments company, both organizations pledged to collaborate on initiatives that focus on improving access to financing, promoting the wider adoption of digital payments as well as strengthening digital literacy in underserved communities.

Both parties have also established guiding principles to ensure that the initiatives are aligned with the main objective of building a secure and sustainable digital economy.

Suzanne Gaboury, director general of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, said financial inclusion is a large part of ADB’s mission to promote sustainable development.

“Through this partnership with Mastercard, we are increasing our efforts to expand access to financial services and unlock opportunities for marginalized communities in the Philippines, and across the region,” she said.

In October 2023, ADB approved a $300 million policy-based loan for the Philippines to help expand Filipinos’ access to financial services and promote the country’s economic growth.

The multilateral lender earlier said the Inclusive Finance Development Program, Subprogram 3, would support the government’s reforms aimed at increasing financial inclusion by improving the financial infrastructure, including widening the digital financing ecosystem.

The policy-based loan will also support efforts to enable financial service providers, including rural banks and non-bank financial institutions to make quality products and services available through various delivery channels.

“This strategic partnership represents a significant milestone in the journey towards building a more inclusive and resilient digital economy in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mastercard said.

“By working together, ADB and Mastercard are poised to unlock new opportunities, drive sustainable growth, and create lasting impact for generations to come,” it added.

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