Mastercard and MDEC tie-up to drive digital initiatives

Mastercard has partnered with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to enable eCommerce for micro, small-and-medium-sized enterprises, foster financial inclusion for unbanked and underbanked populations in rural communities, and drive adoption of digital disbursement solutions.

Under the partnership, Mastercard will work together with MDEC to support industry partners to facilitate the rollout of Mastercard payments and business technologies, such as the Mastercard payment gateway services and Mastercard tap-on-phone contactless technology and simplify commerce. The latter is a platform which offers small businesses much of the ready-made infrastructure they need to engage in eCommerce.

The expansion of digital payments technologies will in part be geared towards helping create smarter, more sustainable and inclusive communities for residents and local businesses. By leveraging in-depth industry insights and expertise, Mastercard will provide a comprehensive suite of smart digital solutions covering transit, lifestyle, health, and education to empower the country, enhance efficiency and productivity and improve quality of life.

Both parties will also leverage on each other's initiatives such as Mastercard's global mentorship programmes and signature Girls4Tech STEM curriculum to promote digital and financial literacy for vulnerable groups, such as underprivileged women and girls, and women-led enterprises. Moreover, MDEC will now be a corporate member of StartPath, Mastercard’s global initiative that supports innovative early stage companies, to enable Malaysian Islamic fintechs to grow and expand.

The collaboration comes after reserach conducted by Mastercard showed an uptick in the use and need of cashless payments in Malaysia in March and April this year. In April, the research found that more than 18% of Malaysian respondents indicated they had increased their use of cashless payments, while during the same period, the figures in Thailand were 15%, 15.75% in Singapore, and 16.9% in the Philippines. A+M has reached out to MDEC for additional information.

Perry Ong, country manager for Malaysia and Brunei, Mastercard, said the Malaysian government has laid out ambitious goals for moving the country forward and create a smart, informed community - both out of the pandemic and beyond. "Mastercard is incredibly excited to be supporting this pursuit of progress and look forward to working with the MDEC to deploy the most secure, efficient, and versatile payment technologies in the world," Ong added.

Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff, chairman of MDEC, said the challenges faced by the businesses this year have demonstrated to us that to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, it requires a proactive public-private sector collaboration for trade and commerce to continue to flourish in the global scene.

"Moreover, digitalisation is key and will continue to be a major factor for Malaysians to embrace living and working in an era that engages the 4th Industry Revolution that propels forward shared prosperity for all," he said.

Zahidi Zainul Abidin, deputy minister of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia, said it is KKMM's and MDEC's aspiration to firmly establish Malaysia as the heart of digital ASEAN and reinforce its regional digital powerhouse role that engages global champions.

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