Mastercard Picks Almaty as Regional Hub in CIS, Central and Eastern Europe

ASTANA — President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with Mastercard Executive Vice President Nicola Villa on Sept. 19 in New York, endorsing the company’s decision to choose Almaty as a regional hub in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Central and Eastern Europe, Akorda press service reported. 

President Tokayev and Executive Vice President of Mastercard Villa on Sept. 19. Photo credit: Akorda.

In this pivotal role, Almaty will become the epicenter of Mastercard’s consulting operations to enhance business and human capital within the Central Asian banking sector.

The meeting focused on the prospects for cooperation in the financial sector and the digital competence of small and medium-sized businesses. It also saw the signing of the Digital Country Partnership (DCP) framework agreement, which is designed to create a tailored approach to support the Kazakh government in its digital transformation.

Mastercard’s Inclusive Growth Fund is set to launch the Strive program in Kazakhstan, geared toward the digital transformation of businesses.

Villa shared the company’s goals of promoting Kazakhstan’s govtech solutions globally,  particularly in emerging markets. 

He asserted that nations, where Mastercard operates, had demonstrated a profound interest in Kazakhstan’s journey towards digitalization, developing a robust e-government infrastructure and fostering digital payment methods.

Mastercard’s Inclusive Growth Fund is set to launch the Strive program in Kazakhstan. This initiative is geared toward the digital transformation of businesses, focusing on empowering more than 300,000 SMEs to elevate their competencies.

Villa also said Mastercard would extend its expert guidance and technological support with the National Bank of Kazakhstan to implement projects, including the Digital Tenge, Instant Payment System and Open Banking. 

Mastercard, a global technology powerhouse, unites a staggering 2.3 billion account holders across 210 countries within a seamless payment ecosystem. With a market capitalization exceeding $390 billion, it ranks among the top 10 most valuable brands worldwide.

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