Mastercard: pledges US$500mn to drive financial inclusion

By Georgia Wilson
Mastercard pledges US$500mn to drive financial inclusion for black communities in the United States...

In an announcement made by Mastercard, the company has pledged US$500mn to drive its longstanding financial inclusion efforts. The company's mission is to develop a more inclusive global digital economy, by investing the pledged money into black communities in the next five years. 

Mastercard reports that half of black Americans are excluded from the financial mainstream, while black owned small businesses are excluded from funding opportunities. Mastercard’s latest commitments have been developed to foster inclusion via immediate economic benefits, while ensuring a last ing mpact for economic growth.

Over the next five years, Investments will be made in products, services, technology, and financial support. In addition the company will make concentrated investments to provide black-owned businesses and black people with access to affordable financial tools and capital.

"This is a time for action. We have an obligation as a corporate citizen to ensure the digital economy is enabled for all, an obligation to be part of the positive change Black communities so rightly need now," commented Ajay Banga, Chief Executive Officer at Mastercard. 

"We are starting in cities across the country with on-the-ground efforts meant to drive out inequities and create the opportunities, connections and resources that will spark economic growth for the long term."

Mastercard has identified three key commitment areas:

Expanding city programs to support black communities

The company is set to bring in a full range of assets - partners, technology and data - to ensure that they can achieve a quick and effective distribution of its financial support in Atlanta, Birmingham, Dayton, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City and St. Louis. As part of its commitments, Mastercard aims to provide over 1mn residents with access to financial tools and support.

Affordable financial tools and services

Mastercard aims to significantly reduce the cost of financial products and increase the ease of access for Black families. The company will be collaborating with fintech company MoCaFi to provide multiple digital services.

Capital and resources

Mastercard is set to expand its relationship with the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), to increase the availability of capital in minority communities. Since 2018, Mastercard has helped to direct US$250mn in capital flow to black-owned small businesses in the United States, and has a mission to triple that number. 

In addition the company will be investing directly in black and minority led startups, as well as expanding its own work with black-owned goods and services. Mastercard will also work to foster job creation and economic opportunities via entrepreneurship centres and workforce development pathways.

To find out more about Mastercard’s commitments to address racism, click here.

For more information on business topics in the United States and Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief North America.

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