We're passionate about cities

More than half of the world's population lives in cities - a number that is set to increase to 70 percent by 2050. With so many people living, working and traveling to cities, many urban hubs around the globe are facing significant challenges.

As a technology leader, Mastercard is committed to being a driving force in the private sector to make cities better and to make better cities. 

Mastercard is helping to make cities:

  • More efficient and more welcoming, by embedding digital payments into a city's DNA
  • Ready for sustainable growth, by unlocking the power of data and digital engagement
  • Safer and more inclusive, by reducing the reliance on cash

Urban centers are constantly on the move

Open-loop payments help speed people on their way

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Connected cities are smart cities

Creating more seamless urban mobility

In many cities, mobility models lack integration across different modes of transportation, making it hard for locals and tourists to get around. Enabling cashless access with globally accepted and secure payment devices across trains, buses, ferries, bike-shares, etc. reduces friction for both residents and tourists. 

Making government spending more efficient

Electronic payments can benefit city governments in multiple ways, including:

  • Better business management, accountability and budget planning. Consolidating purchases through traceable electronic payments also ensures compliance with spending policies and provides detailed records for pricing negotiations. 
  • Savings, accuracy and accountability when paying government employees. Salaries, bonuses and stipends are paid quickly, even at times of political unrest or other disruptions, also providing unbanked employees with a reliable way to receive funds. 
  • Enhancing the efficiency of the government tax collection and reducing the likelihood of corruption – which can produce a 50 percent cost premium for government procurement.

Managing transport demand

Mastercard has solutions that enable a better flow of people around a city whether by public transportation or by car, and a more efficient use of scarce public resources. Using tailored digital engagement with riders and active demand management with incentives and other measures, cities can relieve some of the immediate pressures on transport infrastructure and spread out their large-scale investment programs over a longer period.

Improving urban planning

Through our analytics, we can identify and predict patterns of commercial activity to help urban planners and commercial developers better understand the relationship of how people travel and buy, ultimately guiding decisions that benefit both cities and citizens.


Eliminating the cost of cash

The burden of cash usage on our economies is substantial, representing as much as 1.5 percent of a location’s GDP. Merchants alone lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year to leakage and theft, while residents and visitors are more vulnerable to theft and mugging in cities with a high circulation of cash.

Advancing financial inclusion

Despite advances made in the last five years, two billion adults around the world still don’t have a bank account. Trapped in a cash economy, they lack the financial services to guard against risk, invest in their future and build better lives. Access to basic financial tools creates economic opportunity and growth, individual empowerment and can help reduce poverty.

Multi-function cards combine both receiving and making payments for citizens with or without bank accounts. They also provide access to social benefits and services such as transit, libraries and museums, giving residents a powerful way to build a financial identity.