Mastercard joins UNDP in the global coalition against digital scams

May 24, 2024 | Singapore

This collaboration will leverage Mastercard’s expertise in scam detection and prevention, alongside UNDP’s global presence and development mandate.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Mastercard have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate towards deepening the understanding of development impact of digital scams, and ways to detect and address them.

Digital scams pose a serious global challenge with staggering financial losses and often devastating impact on people and communities. The annual global financial loss from scams was estimated at a staggering USD 1.026 trillion[1], but could be even greater as many incidents go unreported. Digital scams are undermining the progress of the development agenda, as well as eroding trust that is fundamental to an inclusive digital transformation. This impact is especially severe for developing countries. The challenge is complex as it transcends national borders, sectors and disciplines, and continues to evolve rapidly in technology and sophistication, highlighting the need for a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach.

To better understand these challenges and build momentum to address them, the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development in Singapore is convening a global coalition of partners across international and local public and private sector entities and civil society on a project to further understand the impact of digital scams on development, with a focus on developing countries. 

As a pioneer in safeguarding global networks, Mastercard is uniquely positioned to offer practical insights into cyber fraud and scams. It is the first private sector organization to join this coalition, underscoring the company’s commitment to support global and regional efforts to enhance cyber resilience of digital economies. Mastercard will leverage its global expertise and extensive experience in deploying technology to fight fraud as well as share best practices and industry insights to help enhance cybersecurity standards and combat digital scams.

“Digital scams impose detrimental impacts on the global development agenda, and it is imperative that we deepen our understanding of the full complexity of the issue, particularly in relation to developing countries.  We welcome Mastercard's experience in fighting digital fraud, alongside its detection technologies and industry insights on consumer protection, that are important assets to the global coalition and our collective efforts in safeguarding global progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals,” stated Marcos Neto, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

“In today’s interconnected world, fostering trust is crucial for achieving an inclusive digital economy. This is especially true when online scams have become as rampant and sophisticated as technology itself. Continuing our efforts to tackle the rising threat to economies and consumers alike, Mastercard is proud to join forces with UNDP combining our deep expertise, advanced technology, and innovative practices towards global advancement of sustainable development of economies,” said Ari Sarker, President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

In the coming months, the global coalition will develop a report on the socio-economic impact of digital scams and a framework to address the complex dynamics across global, national, societal and individual levels, with particular attention on developing countries. These insights will be deployed to develop a toolkit for collaborative actions to combat digital scams. This toolkit, which will include strategies, good practices, and capacity-building resources, aims to catalyse effective multi-stakeholder interventions against digital scams.

[1] “Global State of Scams 2023 Report”, by Global Anti-Scam Alliance (GASA) and Scam Adviser. Reported in Straits Times: $1.4 trillion lost to scams globally; S’pore victims lost the most on average: Study | The Straits Times

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Media Contacts

Li Wen Ng, UNDP
+65 8919 7991 |
Melissa Yee, Mastercard
+65 6390 6980 |
Natasha Meah, Weber Shandwick
+65 9650 7413 |

About UNDP

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

The Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development is a joint initiative by the Government of Singapore and the UNDP which aims at identifying and co-creating technological solutions for sustainable development. The Centre curates partnerships, identifies solutions and connects partners and innovations with UNDP’s Global Policy Network and development partners.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.