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VEON, Mastercard Announce Partnership Expanding Financial Inclusion

VEON, which works in connectivity and digital services, has launched a strategic global partnership with Mastercard in order to boost services for digital finance, according to a press release emailed to PYMNTS.

The partnership will cover key portions of VEON’s footprint, including Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh. It will let VEON scale up its current digital services, offering customers products that will be tailored to their needs, the release stated. By working with Mastercard, VEON will support the financial and digital inclusion of customers that have traditionally been underserved.

VEON’s co-CEO Sergi Herrero said in the release that the expansion of services “is a key growth priority for VEON as we look to meet the evolving needs of our consumers.”

“Our partnership with Mastercard provides our operating companies in five countries with world-class capabilities to fast-track their plans for developing digital financial services and demonstrates the trust Mastercard has in VEON’s ability to encourage greater financial inclusion through these transformative platforms,” he said, according to the release.

“As digital transformation accelerates, there is also an opportunity to expedite its many benefits, including the way it effectively addresses consumer needs and experiences,” Jorn Lambert, chief digital officer at Mastercard, said in the release. “Mastercard strongly believes in the power of partnership, and we look forward to working closely with VEON to expand financial inclusion and greater access to the digital economy.”

Herrero wrote in a January PYMNTS report about the ways the pandemic has changed the ways people use cash. He said the digital shift isn’t universal because many people are underbanked, and so going cashless isn’t an option.

According to Herrero, the best option is to add new digital ways to reach those people, such as options to transfer money and settle bills via mobile rather than needing a bank account.

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