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MasterCard to roll out dual purposes card

Ronald Edward Garrow

Ronald Edward Garrow

MasterCard, an American multinational financial services corporation, plans to work with the Bangladesh government to roll out smart cards that will serve dual purposes: national identification and e-payment.

Ronald Edward Garrow, member of MasterCard’s executive committee, said the move would make the transaction process easier and efficient.

The company has already struck up an agreement with the Nigerian government to roll out 13 million of these multipurpose identity cards on a pilot basis. It would be the largest formal electronic payments solution roll-out and the broadest financial inclusion initiative in Africa.

“We plan on working closely with regulators, customers and merchants to replicate a similar experience and stimulate a robust payment ecosystem in Bangladesh,??? he said at an interview with The Daily Star.

Garrow, who has been with the MasterCard since 2010, was in Dhaka recently to open MasterCard’s first country office in Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh is an important market for the electronic payments industry as it is relatively untapped.???

Nearly $100 billion is spent every year on private consumption in the country, of which only 0.5 percent, or $500 million, is done through electronic payment means such as debit or credit cards and mobile wallet.

The company, however, expects annual value of electronic payments to hit $10 billion from $500 million in the next five years.

Bangladesh has around 1.2 million credit cards and 1.7 million debit cards, while mobile subscription is more than 100 million.

“So it presents an opportunity to offer innovative payment services spearheaded, in particular, by mobile phones,??? said Garrow, also the chief human resources officer of the company.

MasterCard is also looking for opportunities to introduce prepaid cards for government subsidies and payments, payroll management for businesses, e-welfare payments for NGOs and mobile payment solutions, he said.

The company aims to offer innovative solutions with targeting under and unbanked segment of as it wants to promote financial inclusion in Bangladesh.

“One of MasterCard’s key priorities in Bangladesh is financial inclusion – the delivery of basic financial services at affordable costs to the under and unbanked segment of society.???

By working with governments, NGOs and other partners, the company seeks to increase access to, and use of, electronic payments that are easier, safer and more transparent.

“We believe a financially-included nation is not an end in itself, but rather a means for greater economic development and poverty alleviation,??? Garrow added.

-Suman Saha : http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/mastercard-to-roll-out-multipurpose-cards/

suman.saha@thedailystar.net

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