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Mastercard eyeing LATAM, Southeast Asia after India ban, Russian exit

Mastercard eyeing LATAM, Southeast Asia after India ban, Russian exit
Mastercard eyeing LATAM, Southeast Asia after India ban, Russian exit

After pulling its operations from Russia in March and India's ban, Mastercard is now exploring plans to push for expansion in Southeast Asia and Latin America, according to Ling Hai, the company’s Co-President for International Markets.

Southeast Asia is attractive due to suitable demographics, technology, digitalization uptake, and governments' increase in economic inclusion. In an interview, Ling Hai stated that as supply chains migrate away from China, countries in the region will benefit as well.

Mastercard was banned by India's Central Bank after it was declared "non-compliant" with the country's 2018 guidelines, which required foreign card networks to hold Indian payments data locally for "unrestricted supervisory accessibility."

On the India ban, Hai stated company's impression is that they are closing on a resolution and that the business was working quite constructively with the Indian authorities and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Mastercard, according to the Co-President, is prepared to follow India's data storage regulations, with the goal being to always be completely compliant and take concrete steps to localize data in India.

According to Mastercard, India is a major growth market, and the company has invested USD 2 billion in the nation since 2014 to create technology centers and support digital payment innovation.

In March this year, Mastercard halted operations in Russia, which accounted for around 4% of its net income in 2021, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

If an opportunity to change norms and regulations in areas like financial inclusion, sustainability, and data protection presents itself in Russia, the company will collaborate with other players in the system, including the government itself, and bring necessary changes.

In addition, Hai stated that Europe is also an interesting market for the company due to the region’s scope of innovation and its post-COVID economic recovery. The payment network provider is concentrating on high-growth areas such as business-to-business payments, telecoms, and retail segments.

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Vinisha Joshi

Vinisha Joshi

Despite graduating with an engineering degree in electronics and communication, Vinisha Joshi chose the road less travelled, and decided to pursue her career in content writing . Currently, she pens down articles for and a few other distinguished news platforms, pertaining to business and finance.