The Central American Bank for Economic Integration and Mastercard join forces to boost innovation and digitalization in Central America and the Dominican Republic


San José, Costa Rica, February 14, 2024. The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), a multilateral development finance institution headquartered in Honduras, and Mastercard, the global payments industry technology company, today announced a partnership to drive innovation and digitalization in Central America and the Dominican Republic, as drivers to accelerate financial inclusion and economic development in the region.

The CABEI and Mastercard alliance will seek to promote the growth of key sectors in local economies through innovation and economic development projects that promote regional integration. This collaboration will also focus on facilitating access to financial services for unbanked and underserved populations, using advanced technological solutions.

A key objective will be to accelerate the digitalization of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), fostering their growth and expansion in the digital economy. In addition, the development and strengthening of Fintechs and entrepreneurship will be promoted through education programs, best practices, incentivization and joint acceleration.

Finally, the modernization and digital transformation of key public sector institutions, key to the development of MSMEs and Fintechs will be promoted, taking advantage of the capabilities of both parties and the synergies generated by public-private partnerships.

Gisela Sanchez, CABEI Executive President, stated: "Our partnership with Mastercard is based on a strong commitment to regional integration. By joining forces, we not only strengthen our economies, but also create a network of opportunities that transcends national borders. This is a firm step, in our mission to create a more united, resilient, and prosperous region."

In addition, another sector defined as a priority is e-commerce and logistics, with the objective of creating a Central American Logistics Network to facilitate and accelerate the commercial exchange of MSMEs through the digitization and modernization of postal services for the shipment of parcels in the region.

Germán Roson, Cluster Lead for Central America and the Dominican Republic at Mastercard, highlighted: "At Mastercard, we reaffirm the importance of empowering MSMEs in Central America and the Dominican Republic, seeking to enhance their impact as drivers of economic growth to contribute to building an inclusive and equitable society. Through strategic alliances, such as the one we entered into with CABEI, we can provide simpler, faster and more convenient payment experiences."

Tourism is one of the sectors that has been established as a priority in the work agenda, for which CABEI's Regional Innovation and Technology Center (CRIT), located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and Mastercard's Tourism Innovation Hub (TIH), based in Madrid, Spain, will be used.

This will allow the work to be boosted through the use of data analytics tools, innovation cases, international best practices, and research, with the aim of co-creating solutions that foster a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient tourism industry for the region.