Irish lab working to make new digital finance accessible to all
11 April 2019 17:54
An Irish lab is working to make the digital finance revolution more accessible for everyone.
Mastercard Ireland, headed up from its Dublin office, is concentrating efforts on making sure those who cannot access the new age of digital banking as easily can still reap the benefits.
As major cities become more and more cash-free, concerns have been raised about excluding swathes of society who cannot operate their finances through modern technology.
“80% of the worlds transactions today are still in cash, even though we feel more and more that we’re living in a cashless society, whether it’s in cafes or shops,” said Dave Fleming, global head of Mastercard Labs.
“We do a lot of work in the emerging market where cash is still prevalent in a huge supply in circulation.
“For example, we help micro-merchants get a better deal on their provider for their produce, or farmers sell their grain, using digital means.
“In our financial inclusion agenda, we’ve put effort and resources and time into addressing the issues.
“We not only do it in Africa, we work in India and the States as well, so people who may not work through digital means can still harness the technology we have, and use it as a bridge.
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“We’re coming up with new solutions so people who have been excluded from commerce can meet their daily needs.”
Mastercard says that 607 million people currently own a mobile phone worldwide, but do not yet have a bank account, their mobile technology can therefore provide them with immediate access to financial inclusion.
This includes creating technology that enables basic mobile phones, with no smart technology, to use financial services – an initiative that has already been implemented for farmers in Uganda.
“As a company we recognise that’s an untapped market place and these are people who need to be served, and it’s doing well by doing good, in our opinion,” Mr Flemming added.
“We don’t want to just serve the digital native and developed market, we want to serve the un-served.
“It’s a long term play, but a socially good one.”
Dublin is home to Mastercard’s only Europe-based Technology Hub with over 500 employees – the majority of whom are technologists dedicated to global projects shaping the future of payments.
The company is showcasing its work this week at the Tech Summit, a two-day global tech conference in Dublin’s RDS.
- Press Association