Mastercard and MDEC to accelerate financial inclusion in Malaysia

September 3, 2020

Mastercard signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to advance digitalization in the economy and support digital initiatives outlined in the government’s new PENJANA economic recovery plan. MDEC is an agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM). The partnership will focus on enabling e-commerce for micro, small-and-medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); foster financial inclusion for unbanked and underbanked populations in rural communities; and drive the adoption of digital disbursement solutions.

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“The MoU between Mastercard and MDEC, the lead agency in driving the nation’s digital economy initiatives, brings a truly dynamic synergy that will see the sharing of best practices and knowledge-sharing between both parties to enable the economy’s digital transformation and fuel business growth in Malaysia. 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, such as Mastercard, by ensuring the digital economy will drive shared prosperity for all Malaysians as well as the region,” said YB Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia.

The industry partners of both parties will be supported in the rollout of Mastercard payments and business technologies such as Mastercard Payment Gateway Services, Kionect microcredit platform, and Mastercard Tap-on-Phone Contactless Technology and Simplify Commerce.

“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, digitalization 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 (IR4.0) that propels forward shared prosperity for all,” said YBhg. Datuk Wira Dr. Hj. Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff, Chairman of MDEC.

“By working with Mastercard and drawing on their expertise in developing vast electronic payment infrastructure, we look forward to tackling a range of pressing economic and social issues through technologies that better connect individuals, communities, and businesses to become digitally-skilled Malaysians and digitally-powered businesses of all sizes across the country,” said Pn. Surina Shukri, Chief Executive Officer of MDEC.

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Both partners will leverage on each other’s programs such as Mastercard’s global mentorship programs and signature Girls4Tech STEM curriculum to promote digital and financial literacy for vulnerable groups, such as underprivileged women and girls, and women-led enterprises. These are areas that are also being championed by MDEC through its various existing programs such as digital talent development, empowering women in cyber risk management, online eCommerce services with Perkhidmatan e-dagang setempat (PeDas), eUsahawan (entrepreneurship) and eRezeki (sustenance) initiatives.

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 work with MDEC really gets to the heart of what Mastercard does as a company—using advances in digital technologies to create opportunity, expand inclusivity, and drive profitable entrepreneurship,” said Perry Ong, Country Manager for Malaysia and Brunei, Mastercard. “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—and 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.”

In 2017, Mastercard partnered with Cyberview Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) to transform Cyberjaya as a Smart City with a focus on cashless initiatives and now look forward to continuing this digital innovation endeavor through MDEC on a nationwide scale.