Mastercard launches new initiative to enhance economic recovery


Seeking to enhance support for businesses in their financial recovery from COVID-19, Mastercard has launched Recovery Insights, a set of tools, innovation and research that can provide some certainty and support data-driven decision-making for a more digital future.

The initiative draws on Mastercard’s analytics and experimentation platforms, its longstanding consulting practice and unique data-driven insights.

Raj Seshadri, president of data and services, Mastercard commented: “Enabling smarter decisions with better outcomes is our goal. And, it’s what airlines, restaurants, CPG brands, banks, governments and countless others are seeking right now. 

“Our insights are helping apparel brands refine their inventory to address the rise in e-commerce, grocers fine-tune store hours to give at-risk shoppers peace of mind, and governments guide services to fuel local economies.”

Maximising its reach and impact, Mastercard is making certain insight-driven tools available at no cost to governments and select businesses to give a timely snapshot of economic performance. These solutions draw on aggregated and anonymised spending insights to provide an ongoing view of economic health.

To assess the local effects of COVID-19 and build a foundation for an inclusive recovery, dozens of cities (including New York City, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Los Angeles and Logan City, Australia), states (Arizona) and national governments (Turespaña, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain) are now using Mastercard tools. 

These solutions help inform budget planning, optimise aid disbursement, understand which merchants are open for business, and prioritize investment to support those most impacted by the pandemic.

London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell added: “Access to Mastercard’s insights gives us a much more detailed picture of the economic health of the capital’s high streets during lockdown – and as we move towards easing restrictions. 

“It complements other insights we’re gathering which allows us to target future investments and understand the emerging needs of businesses and communities across London.”

Meanwhile, U.S. small business owners are using the tools to better understand local consumer spending trends, while central banks around the world are collaborating closely with the Mastercard Economics Institute to better understand changing market conditions through regular COVID economic impact trackers.

Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, emphasised: “The Mastercard insights into how the pandemic and quarantine are impacting consumer spending have helped us understand the huge and devastating impact of COVID-19 on jobs and the local economy. We all need good data to inform our policy and advocacy on behalf of the city and state, and this is what Mastercard is providing.”

Miguel Gamino, executive vice president, Enterprise Partnerships and head of Global Cities, Mastercard concluded: “We’re committed to helping government leaders take an evidence-based approach to policy and program development. 

“Given the multitude of challenges today, they’re activating our network to support areas ranging from aid disbursements to emergency fundraising to cybersecurity assessments and identity theft protection. It’s about building more inclusive economies for everyone, everywhere.”

Expert Analysis: Mastercard thrusting its support and experience behind economic recovery following COVID-19 is imperative and can be crucial to an economic bounceback after the pandemic. The potential global impact of this initiative by Mastercard shouldn’t be understated.