MasterCard has teamed up with UN Women to advance the economic empowerment of women around the world.
The companies agreed to the initiative via a Memorandum of Understanding, and their first project will be to get ID cards equipped to make electronic payments into the hands of women in Nigeria. The country already has such a national ID card program in place, but the UN and MasterCard plan to work together to analyze the factors that lead Nigerians to sign up for the national ID cards, and to then encourage further enrollment among women.
In a statement announcing the endeavor on International Women’s Day, MasterCard CFO Martina Hund-Mejean explained that “[r]esearch has shown that as soon as a person has a formal identity and access to electronic payments, they can prosper in way they haven’t imagined before.”
The idea echoes similar sentiments expressed by Morpho (Safran) CEO Anne Bouverot, also in commemoration of International Women’s Day, who tied secure identity to the economic and political empowerment of women. Bouverot also pointed to activities Morpho has been pursuing related to these ideals, including a similar effort in Ethiopia to develop a bank card specifically for women.