By Carlo Enrico, President Mastercard Latin America & the Caribbean.
Regardless of where you are sitting right now, it’s safe to say that we’re all thinking about the same thing: coronavirus. The outbreak is impacting the health of our loved ones, our businesses, and our global economy.
During these extraordinary times, many will choose to focus their energy on their immediate circles – and understandably so. But there is also a clear need to look collectively beyond our circle and lend a hand to the communities that need it most. Businesses, in particular, have a big role to play in this. We can find new and innovative ways to use our infrastructure, capabilities, and technology to keep the economy going.
At Mastercard, our main job is to drive commerce by enabling the everyday buying and selling — from people buying their necessities, to helping companies disburse loans to small businesses, insurance companies disburse claim payouts to consumers, among so many others. In other words, we enable economic activity that is such an important engine of the economy, and especially so in times of crisis.
While this is our core business, today’s reality calls for companies to go beyond business-as-usual to make a difference – because that’s what we need to do in order to come out of this on the other side together.
Supporting our Communities
Never has the concept of Doing Well by Doing Good been more relevant, and that is why we continue to work with organizations and communities to provide support and recovery efforts. Our partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the development and access to treatment for COVID-19 is an example of that vision in action.
Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on our macro environment is paramount. That is why we are doubling down on data and insights to help impacted groups navigate this rapidly-changing space. For example, we are tapping into the network of thought leaders of our Center for Inclusive Growth to share insights for the benefit of SME’s, the travel industry, and low-income households. Our uniquely-differentiated Mastercard Economic Institute is also working with several groups to inform plans for today and for the longer-term recovery.
The small business community is the backbone of our economies and so it’s crucial to come together to help them. To that end, this week we announced a $250 million commitment over the next five years to support small businesses globally. We are not only supporting with funds, but also by providing cyber security and intelligence solutions at no cost to them.
Similarly, governments and NGO’s have an urgent need to deliver on their economic relief programs. To help them in these efforts, we are putting forth our debit and prepaid solutions, to help them speed up the distribution of aid and benefits for the people that need it most.
And of course, our healthcare systems, which are facing the biggest challenge of all. Yesterday, we announced that in partnership with the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (H-ISAC), H-ISAC members and all healthcare organizations worldwide can receive free cybersecurity rating assessments through December 31, 2020. The service will be provided by RiskRecon, a Mastercard company.
We believe that our payments industry can help deliver health and safety benefits to cardholders during these challenging times. Technologies like contactless can give consumers peace of mind, as health officials recommend social distancing and a growing number of merchants are encouraging contactless over cash. And that is why we are championing an industry move to the raise of existing limits on contactless purchases to $50 USD across LAC.
To allow more people to shop and pay online from the safety and comfort of their homes, we are accelerating the adoption of digital payment solutions across the region. And through the power of our brand, we are partnering with digital merchants to help families at home access every day essentials including food deliveries as well as entertainment services online.
We know from experience that during times of crisis, there can be heightened risk of cyber-attacks on consumers, businesses, and even governments– and that is where our cybersecurity solutions come into play.
Apart but United
It’s times like these that remind us of the importance of coming together as a community. If each and every one of us does something that makes the world a bit better, our collective work will in fact make the world a lot better, for the people we love, for our communities, for society.
At Mastercard, we’ll continue to deliver on our mission of enabling a more connected world, and help people take care of themselves and their communities. We are in this with each and every one of you for the long haul and I am sure that, working together, we will emerge from this and find new strengths and growth we never imagined.