Gujarat government and MasterCard on Monday signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) for strategic cooperation to accelerate the adoption of electronic payments processes involving government, businesses, as well as the transit and tourism industry.
The MoU aims to "improve access to money and create improved transparency, efficiency and speed in payments that would benefit consumers, small businesses and craftsmen, as well as state and municipal departments," a media statement here said.
The state government and MasterCard will kick off the collaboration by focusing on a number of strategic areas. Both parties will work together to digitise and streamline the procurement payment process in various departments, municipalities and various state public sector undertakings (PSUs). They will develop a mobile-based solution for the transfer of government benefits to beneficiaries. The State Government and MasterCard will also seek to enhance the public transportation system by creating a common transit card for travelers using the metro, and all state and city buses.
"In addition, the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector will stand to benefit from this collaboration through payment processes that are more secure and efficient. The state government and MasterCard will also explore opportunities to promote Gujarat tourism to MasterCard card holders," the statement read.
"This MoU represents a joint effort to drive innovation and development of electronics payments in Gujarat, in line with the State Government's goal to make Gujarat the first digital payments state in India. MasterCard will leverage our global expertise to deliver new innovations and the right payment systems and we are looking forward to seeing fruitful results from these collaborations," said Ari Sarker, division president, South Asia & country corporate officer, India at MasterCard. MasterCard currently partners with the governments of over 44 countries in Asia, Europe, America and Africa; within India, it has implemented various projects with the state governments of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, DMRC, and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
Today's MOU announcement follows recent investments in Gujarat by MasterCard to establish theMobile SolutionsCenter of Excellence in the city of Vadodara.