The need to build ecosystem-wide collaboration to drive inclusive growth and the potential of prepaid payment solutions to act as a platform to strengthen economies and connect more people to the formal financial system were among the main topics of discussion at Mastercard’s third Prepaid and Government Conference which took place in Dubai last Thursday.
Organized annually by Mastercard, the conference aims to promote greater public-private cooperation in creating enabling environments for financial inclusion and the digital empowerment of citizens. The third edition brought together a number of high-profile delegates from the government and financial sectors along with a robust lineup of expert speakers who shared insights and best practice on how innovations in prepaid payment technology can empower financially underserved people in the region.
“While the financial services industry is producing innovative payment solutions, inclusive growth is not possible without these services directly benefitting the under-banked population and those excluded from the formal banking system. Broadening access to organized financing produces a ripple effect that positively impacts the economy as a whole, helping mobilize greater household savings, attracting capital for investment, and enabling more people to invest in themselves and their families.” Raghu Malhotra, President, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard, said.
With more than two billion people still excluded from the mainstream of financial services, Mastercard is stepping up its efforts to increase financial access for citizens around the world by developing innovative payment solutions that enhance the adoption of cashless transactions and by stitching together strong public and private alliances that accelerate the shift toward a digital financial economy.
“To break down the barriers to sustained and inclusive growth, stakeholders across the ecosystem must come together to adopt innovative technology solutions and create opportunities for social and economic empowerment to ensure that the benefits of financial inclusion percolate to the poorest, most vulnerable sections of society,” Malhotra said.
From the need to develop a safe and secure electronic payment ecosystem that would help close the gap between access and usage, to identifying the different actions governments can take to promote electronic payments and reduce the shadow economy, the Prepaid and Government Conference addressed some of the most pressing issues facing the region as it seeks to move toward a cashless society.