MasterCard, EDB to help firms innovate in tech

A woman walks past a MasterCard sign at a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 26.
A woman walks past a MasterCard sign at a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 26. PHOTO: REUTERS

MasterCard and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) have signed a memorandum of understanding to help companies in Singapore build innovative technology solutions.

In the next two years, the two parties will focus on tackling some of the biggest urban challenges that Singapore faces, with a focus on promoting mobility, tourism and trade.

MasterCard and EDB will work with other Singapore-based companies to design and build technology platforms in these three areas.

In tourism, for example, the two partners plan to cooperate with local tourism industry players to come up with technological innovations that will allow Singapore residents and visitors to navigate the Republic's attractions in an easier and more connected fashion.

To improve urban mobility, they want to work with transportation players to develop innovations that will ensure visitors feel as much at home with the local transit system as residents.

And to boost trade, MasterCard and EDB want to look at ways to digitise and automate how companies buy, sell and pay one another, including in the shipping industry.

Since 2012, Singapore has been one of MasterCard's global research and development centres.

Mr Kelvin Wong, the assistant managing director at EDB, said that this partnership is in line with EDB's drive for Singapore to be a hotbed for innovation and the creation of new businesses, which in turn will contribute to economic growth and the creation of good jobs.

MasterCard Asia-Pacific co-president Ari Sarker added that for many years Singapore has been setting the benchmark for what it means to become a smart city and a smart nation.

"MasterCard is proud to work with EDB to develop first-of-their- kind solutions that make the lives of people and businesses easier, and that help Singapore further strengthen its competitive position in the world economy."

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2016, with the headline 'MasterCard, EDB to help firms innovate in tech'. Print Edition | Subscribe