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Mastercard (MA) Ties Up to Speed Up Digitization in the Caribbean

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Mastercard Incorporated (MA - Free Report) recently joined forces with Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre (“TTIFC”) in a bid to devise and implement solutions, which will ramp up digital growth across the country. Mastercard and TTIFC have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring this endeavor to fruition.

Shares of Mastercard lost 2.4% on Nov 19, replicating declines in broader markets.

Mastercard has always worked closely with governments and fintech companies stretched globally to harness the potential of increasing adoption of digital means — a trend that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the aid of this experience coupled with its global technology platforms, network and expertise, MA will drive digital transformation in Trinidad & Tobago.

First of all, Mastercard and TTIFC will strengthen ties with the country’s fintechs to roll out reliable digital payment solutions that benefit small and medium-sized businesses. Subsequently, the companies can assist the government in enhanced usage of technologies aimed at digitization of payments related to disbursement of social benefits, payroll management and other public sector payments.

The latest move reinforces Mastercard’s efforts to strengthen its presence in Trinidad & Tobago and more broadly in the Caribbean. The region has been witnessing substantial growth in digital interactions and robust demand for technological solutions. And Trinidad & Tobago continues to contribute significantly to the digital growth of the region, which makes the recent partnership a time opportune one.

Also, the recent move will help Mastercard, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), in moving closer to its global commitment of bringing 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses under the ambit of a growing digital economy within 2025.

Needless to say, Mastercard remains the preferred choice of fintechs owing to its strong brand name, local knowledge, expanded capabilities, extensive network and global presence. Initiatives similar to the latest one not only highlight MA’s robust digital capabilities but also bolster its global footprint. Mastercard has remained steadfast in promoting rapid adoption of digital means.

As part of its digital transformation efforts, MA keeps on collaborating with several local and globally renowned organizations. The leading worldwide technology company in the payments industry undertakes significant investments to upgrade digital capabilities. This, in turn, has resulted in a robust digital services suite and helped Mastercard in penetrating further into the inaccessible areas resulting in enhanced management of global payments.

Apart from Mastercard, other companies like Visa Inc. (V - Free Report) , American Express Company (AXP - Free Report) and The Western Union Company (WU - Free Report) have also resorted to several digital transformation efforts for capitalizing on the prevailing scenario.

Visa remains focused on launching innovative card offerings, technology advancements and introductions of secured digital payment options to cater to the evolving needs of consumers. While Visa B2B Connect keeps on adding partners to its network, Visa Direct’s digital payment capabilities have been leveraged by several organizations.

American Express continues to pursue a host of measures focused on technology upgradations, introduction of secured digital solutions and assisting businesses in regulating payments. AXP has also been pursuing several buyouts and partnerships in the past, which are aimed at solidifying its digital capabilities and offering increased card locations to its Card Members.

Western Union pursues a digital partnership strategy for upgrading and digitizing the money movement process for consumers and businesses. Given the robust demand for real-time payments and increased smartphone usage, the solid digital arm of WU was built through several digital tie-ups and substantial investments. Western Union has been entering into several collaborations with global and local financial service providers, which are aimed at bolstering digital services portfolio, facilitating enhanced management of global payments and boosting customer experience.

Shares of Mastercard have gained 2.3% in a year against the industry’s decline of 19.8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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While American Express stock has gained 49.5% in a year, Visa and Western Union's shares have lost 3.6% and 22%, respectively, in the same time frame.