AP government inks pact with Mastercard to create digital ecosystem

The pact will see implementation of innovative payment technologies that will help the State move towards a cashless society as also to elevate its foothold as a smart city.

By Author   |   Published: 5th Oct 2017   6:16 pm Updated: 6th Jan 2018   4:52 pm
Chandrababu Naidu digital ecosystem
File Photo: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu

New Delhi: Global payments technology major Mastercard and the Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday signed a pact to create a “digital ecosystem” in the State.

It focuses on implementing a 4-pronged agenda for the State.

Signed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Mastercard President & CEO Ajay Banga, the pact will see implementation of innovative payment technologies that will help the State move towards a cashless society as also to elevate its foothold as a smart city.

Mastercard, through a mobile app, will help create a marketplace solution for farmers to buy and sell crops in a safer and simpler way besides being able to get access to credit and transparent pricing.

“The first one is to really work hard in enabling farmers to find access to the new ways to be able to get their produce to markets and connect to buyers and get paid for it in the form that does not allow middleman to get between them and take away what is theirs,” Banga told reporters at the MoU signing.

The two-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) ‘Fintech Valley’ was inked between Mastercard and Andhra Pradesh Electronics IT Agency (APEITA) to enable a safe and secure digital solution at the State level.

Naidu said he strongly believes in technology and fintech (financial technologies). “I think we can do wonders.Technology is going to bring revolution now. I strongly believe that compared to physical currency, digital currency will be cost effective.”

The pact will also include collaboration on smart city and develop a smart transit solutions to help speed daily commutes and bring efficiency across public transportation system.

“To me it (smart city) is about making lives easy for the citizen of a city,” Banga said.
They should be able to commute through multiple ways seamlessly without having the need to pay at each instances separately, he added.

Besides, Mastercard will work on cybersecurity to make digital payments secure and hold a global conference in Andhra Pradesh annually from mid-2018 for exchange of ideas.

And lastly, the partnership will work towards enhancing financial, digital literacy and expertise through a knowledge sharing and skill development programme to support a Centre of Excellence at a leading university in Andhra Pradesh.

“This initiative will provide access to Mastercard Labs and Global Technology Hubs to support the dynamic vision of building capacity to make Andhra Pradesh a model for digital payments excellence,” the company said in a statement.

Mastercard Senior Vice President and Group Head, Global Community Relations Ravi Aurora said the company is deeply committed to India and it will invest USD 750-800 million over the next four to five years.

“Mastercard has a very deep commitment to India, we have since 2014 invested over USD 500 million in India. We have a commitment in the next four years for another between USD 750 -800 million investment in India,” Aurora said.

He said India is a key market and Mastercard is committed both for ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’.

Of its total global workforce of 15,000 employees, about 14 per cent are employed in India, he added.