Mastercard announced that it is investing $500 million in Black communities over the next five years, including new investment in St. Louis. This commitment includes products, services, technology and financial support, as well as concentrated investments that will focus on providing Black-owned businesses and Black people access to affordable financial tools and capital.
“This is a time for action,” Ajay Banga, chief executive officer at Mastercard, said in a statement. “We have an obligation as a corporate citizen to ensure the digital economy is enabled for all, an obligation to be part of the positive change Black communities so rightly need now.”
Mastercard plans to focus on three areas:
Expanding city programs to support Black communities. In collaboration with city leaders, Mastercard is initiating efforts in seven cities including Atlanta, Birmingham, Dayton, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City and St. Louis. The company will bring together identification, financial access and payment functionalities in one place through Mastercard City Key, enabling more than 1 million residents with digital access to essential financial tools and support.
Affordable financial tools and services. Mastercard is working to reduce the cost and access to financial products for Black families with a collection of digital services being offered first through African American-owned fintech MoCaFi. The digital Mastercard Money Connect Solutions will allow people to send money to relatives affordably; enable real-time bill payment and check deposits by phone; and help people manage wage fluctuations and unexpected bills through earned wage access instead of having to wait until payday.
Capital and resources for Black-owned businesses. Mastercard will expand its relationships with Community Development Financial Institutions, including Accion Opportunity Fund and the Community Reinvestment Fund, to increase capital availability in minority communities. The company is also investing directly in Black- and minority-led startups and expanding its work with Black-owned goods and service providers.
“In the City of St. Louis, we’re exploring ways this investment can support our youth and future generations through expanded access to education, summer programming, and financial literacy opportunities,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a statement.