Innovation

MasterCard’s Smart Cities Now Includes Digital Payments

MasterCard smart cities innovation

MasterCard is partnering with 100 Resilient Cities — Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) in order to push digital payments as part of its “Smart Cities” initiative and leverage its technologies to create more sustainable urban centers.

As part of this partnership, MasterCard will be working with 100RC to push its digital payments agenda in cities by helping people understand the risks associated with a cash-based economy, along with the opportunities that digital payments can create. MasterCard will leverage its technology in order to assist 100RC members to create their own strategies that allow them to deliver better payments infrastructures in urban areas. They will also use the lessons learned to inform cities how to create their own strategies.

“In the face of rapid urbanization, removing cash from the economy has been shown to create far-reaching and cumulative benefits to all — citizens, businesses, tourists and governments,” said Craig Driver, VP of government services and solutions for MasterCard. “Working with 100RC, we can tap into our expertise creating digital payment solutions for governments to help cities achieve greater cost savings and efficiencies, drive revenue, reduce crime, establish digital identities for their citizens, expand financial inclusion and improve overall quality of life.”

The 100RC Platform of Partners is a group of private, public, nonprofit, academic and government organizations that provide free tools, services and expertise to 100RC members. The 100RC partnership will enable MasterCard to expand the reach and impact of their existing expertise to more cities in order to “help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century world.”

”The complex problems facing cities in the 21st century require thinking and partnerships from experts across all sectors,” said Michael Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities. “MasterCard is uniquely positioned to assist 100RC members build efficiencies in their local economies and create cities better able to thrive and withstand both sudden and long-term disasters.”

MasterCard is already actively engaged with governments around the world and is involved in 1,300 programs in 60 countries to address issues in payments, including social benefits, government payroll, procurement, government receipts and transit.

A few examples are:

  • Barranquilla, Colombia: MasterCard helped to streamline the city’s payments processes. The use of electronic payments by the local government grew from 0 percent to 76 percent, creating significant efficiencies.
  • London: MasterCard worked with Transport for London (TfL) to transform its fare collection system to accept contactless bank cards. In just over a year, the cost of collecting fares has dropped from about 14 percent of revenues to just below 9 percent, while access to trains and buses has been simplified for residents and visitors.
  • Canada: MasterCard is working with local businesses in Toronto and other cities to provide insights to help them understand business performance, customer behavior and competitive standing.
  • Egypt: MasterCard is helping the government roll out a program that links citizens’ national identification to the existing countrywide mobile money platform, allowing 54 million Egyptians to participate in the formal electronic economy through a single, easy-to-use cashless solution.
  • Indonesia: MasterCard is assisting to simplify the financial accounts for government employees, such as the navy and police, by combining their ID, payroll and payment functionality onto a single card.

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