Mastercard wants to work with credit unions in the country to increase financial inclusion on the Family Islands, Mastercard’s Account Manager Juan Aleman said yesterday.
Aleman, who was speaking to the media at the World Credit Union Conference at Atlantis resort yesterday, said he and his colleagues are scheduled to meet with the chief executive officers of several credit unions to flesh out how they both can increase financial inclusion throughout The Bahamas.
Aleman added that Mastercard is also working along with Fidelity Bank, through Mastercard’s aggregator model, to bring credit cards to credit unions.
According to Aleman, Mastercard is interested in helping all family island residents access financial services, and he explained that a partnership with credit unions could be key.
“We want to work with the credit unions to work on the Family Islands. We know, specifically, the situation with the Family Islands is kind of a challenge, especially for accessing financial services.”
Aleman said because many people turn to credit unions for financial services, they are a strong partner to work with to bring cards and payment acceptance for individuals and merchants to the Family Islands.
He said though that Bahamians need much more education on the benefits of electronic payment solutions and Mastercard has already worked with straw vendors and taxi drivers to provide payment solutions. But he said more needs to be done.
“It is a challenge, we know it and the best way that we have found to do this is education,” he said.
“For them they don’t see it as a pain point just yet, because they don’t know what they are missing. But once you show them the real opportunity and how they can actually improve their business… because it’s not just the cash, it’s how they manage their cash flow. It’s more than just accepting the transaction.”