MasterCard empowers Gujarat to be the first digital payments state in India

Nurdianah Md Nur

The State Government of Gujarat, India, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MasterCard on 12 January 2014 in an effort to make Gujarat the first digital payments state in India.

"This MoU represents a joint effort to drive innovation and development of electronics payments in Gujarat," said Ari Sarker, division president for South Asia and country corporate officer for India at MasterCard. The partnership will not only help improve access to money, but also enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in payments, according to a joint press statement.

Under the agreement, both parties will work together to digitise and streamline the procurement payment process in various departments, municipalities and various state Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). They will also develop a mobile-based solution for the transfer of government benefits to beneficiaries. Besides that, the state government and MasterCard will create a common transit card for commuters using the metro and all state and city bus to enhance the state's public transport systems.

Apart from this MoU, Gujarat is working with MasterCard to establish a Mobile Solutions Centre of Excellence in the city of Vadodara. The centre will develop innovations that can be integrated with MasterCard solutions and deliver end-to-end device-based solutions for service providers around the globe.