MDEC, Mastercard ink MoU to support digital initiatives

MICRO, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) especially in the rural and suburban areas will soon be able to secure loans from banks and be exposed to e-commerce with the roll-out of Malaysia’s digital economy initiative.

Such an opportunity will be made available to them with the signing of a memorandum of understanding () between the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation () and Mastercard here today.

Objectives of the collaboration include advancing the digitalisation of Malaysia’s economy and supporting the digital initiatives outlined in the government’s National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA).

Speaking to reporters after witnessing the MoU signing, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the MoU would narrow the gap in digital technology knowledge between urban and rural entrepreneurs as it will expose MSMEs to digital payments and transactions.

In his speech, Zahidi said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt by all quarters of society including the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that make up a significant 98.5 per cent of Malaysian businesses and are ultimately the backbone of the country’s economy.

MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri in her speech said by working with Mastercard and drawing on their expertise in developing a vast electronic payment infrastructure, MDEC looks forward to tackling a range of pressing economic and social issues through technology.

They include how to better connect individuals, communities and businesses to become digitally-skilled Malaysians and digitally powered businesses of all sizes across the country, she said.

“Technology plays a vital role in supporting the transition towards cashless payment and ultimately improving its services and enhancing convenience,” she said.

Speaking to reporters after the signing, Mastercard’s Malaysia and Brunei country manager Perry Ong said Mastercard would facilitate the initiative, noting that SMEs might receive any financial assistance digitally in a card.

“Mastercard will also help the SMEs with the tools and services and facilitate their online e-commerce as well as payment gateway. On the other hand, Mastercard will provide a platform where data from the SMEs can be shared with MDEC and the banks.

“With that data, financial institutions can know how robust a SME’s business is. This may help the SMEs to secure loans from the banks for future growth and expansion,” he added.

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