Reflecting on Ukrainian resilience

February 10, 2023 | By Inga Andreieva

In 2022, Ukraine found itself in the spotlight – not for a reason we would all like, but with discoveries that no one, including ourselves, would have expected. One of those discoveries is the sheer scale of Ukrainian resilience.

Resilience is all about well-coordinated cooperation, thanks to which we at Mastercard, together with banks, merchants, the National Bank of Ukraine, and the Government, hold the financial frontline, ensuring that the entire payment ecosystem works smoothly during the full-scale war. We helped banks implement cloud-edge connectivity solutions to strengthen their infrastructure. Technological solutions we have been developing in the country for many years have become especially important in wartime, providing Ukrainians with access to financial services. For example, our ‘Digital First’ program allows people to get a digital card through mobile banking app and immediately use it to make payments.

Resilience has also manifested itself in a rapid response to the pressing needs of Ukrainians. We teamed up with PayPal to simplify cross-border transfers and partnered with international non-governmental organizations providing technological rails for convenient disbursements. Meanwhile, our ‘Purchase with cash withdrawal’ service has doubled the country's ATM network, allowing Ukrainians to access cash at the checkout counters in dozens of chain stores.

To help small and medium-sized businesses, we launched the Mastercard Start Path Ukraine initiative, which provides mentoring and financial aid. In collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Transformation, we supported Diia.Business consultancy centers in Ukraine and opened the first Diia.Business center for Ukrainian entrepreneurs abroad in Warsaw.

The war has not slowed us down in implementing innovative solutions. With our partners, we introduced the first crypto card in Ukraine, and in cooperation with Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways), we launched a mobile app for ticket sales.

And of course, we continued to help Ukrainians in need, would it be global financial assistance of US$5 million or dozens of local initiatives, including support for the eDopomoga (eHelp) platform in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine.

Our efforts have been recognized with the Ukraine Peace Prize, established by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. For our part, we at Mastercard presented our Ukrainian partners with the Resilience Award for their dedication and relentless work for the benefit of the country.

What awaits the Ukrainian banking sector in 2023? Banking and payment services will further evolve in the digital space with a focus on cybersecurity solutions, tokenization in e-commerce, and new payment platforms. However, one thing that will remain unchanged is Ukrainian resilience and its unique human potential.

Photo of Inga Andreieva
Inga Andreieva, Country Manager, Ukraine and Moldova