Leading during COVID-19

Mastercard is focused on helping individuals and businesses weather these challenging times not only by ensuring our network remains secure, resilient and reliable but also by applying our technology, philanthropy, and data science expertise to rebuild healthy communities and ensure that economic growth is inclusive.


These funds are supporting the search for a cure and will aid small businesses and financially vulnerable communities around the world.

KEY commitments

$250 million in financial, technology, product and insight assets over the next five years to support the financial security and vitality of small businesses and their workers. Including:

  • $1 million to Grameen America to support the transition of low-income women entrepreneurs to digital banking. Thanks to this partnership, women can establish a financial identity and grow their businesses by digitizing their operations and accessing microloans.
  • $1 million to the Community Reinvestment Fund to help small businesses access federal relief.

$25 million seed money to establish the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome to speed the development of and access to therapies. Total public and private donor funding has reached close to $300 million to date.

$10 million in emergency grants including:

  • Jointly with PepsiCo, $1 million to support frontline medical workers at White Plains Hospital in Westchester, NY (where both companies have their headquarters).

$10 million challenge issued by data.org for ideas that use data science to advance inclusive growth and recovery around the world. data.org was founded by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and the Rockefeller Foundation in January 2020.

Inclusive growth requires us to put the digital economy to work for everyone, everywhere. In light of the stark digital inequality gaps being exacerbated by COVID-19, we have expanded our worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. There will be a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.

Our employees make Mastercard what it is today. Our employees are making an impact in their local communities, and we’re helping them match their unique skills to volunteer opportunities that focus on health, human services and small business initiatives. Their resiliency and creative approach to challenges of all kinds are what will see us through this period and help us define new ways to help others.

Supporting our Workforce

We have introduced a COVID-19 global employee benefit for up to 10 business days of paid leave for sick, childcare or eldercare related needs.

We are providing 100% costs associated with COVID-19 testing for U.S. employees and access to free telemed consults.

We have committed to no layoffs in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

We are running a virtual summer intern program with full/same compensation as promised.

Our employees served 1,000 virtual volunteer hours in eight weeks.

We are giving employees a range of choices about how and where they get work done as we put precautionary measures in place to help them feel safe if they choose to return to offices.

We strive to make every transaction safe, simple, smart and accessible. That continues in today’s uncertain world. We are using that same technology along with data and cybersecurity expertise to help address new challenges facing governments, small businesses, and consumers.


Mastercard is engaging with several hundred national and local governments around the world. One critical area of support is facilitating electronic disbursements, so vulnerable businesses and individuals can safely and securely receive vital benefits. 

Recovery insights for customers

Mastercard has launched a set of data, tech and research tools that can help airlines, restaurants, CPG brands, banks, governments and others navigate the rise in e-commerce, fine-tune operations, and prioritize investments.

Equipping cities with actionable insights

We are working with city and state leaders around the world, providing access to anonymized and aggregated data-driven insights free of charge, to help them assess the impact of COVID-19 on their communities and optimize their recovery plans.


Mastercard is offering free cyber vulnerability assessments and identity theft protection to businesses, as well as free cybersecurity rating assessments for all healthcare organizations, in partnership with RiskRecon (a Mastercard company) and the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (H-ISAC).


In today’s environment contactless payments are not just a convenience, they are helping people stay safe and healthy.

  • Contactless limits: Mastercard is championing efforts to increase contactless payment limits across multiple regions as people look for safer ways to pay in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about actions in these regions: Canada, Middle East & Africa, and Europe.

  • Tap on phone pilot: Mastercard is piloting Tap on Phone technology with our partners in more than a dozen markets on six continents, turning Android smartphones into acceptance devices for contactless cards, mobile wallets, even smartwatches — with no additional device and setup costs, separate dongles or other hardware.

  • Expedite no-touch transit solutions: Contactless and mobile payment innovation allow for a no-touch public transit environment. Collaborating with financing partners, we are expediting the deployment of digital fare collection solutions. 

Alleviating the stress of refunds

Millions of consumers people are dealing with canceled events, vacations, business trips, and are trying to get their money back, creating stress for consumers and pressure on businesses. We have launched a program with Ethoca using our collective technology to alleviate transaction disputes, by giving banks and credit unions the ability to share timely alerts with businesses so they can resolve the situation quickly.

Working with social, civic and private sector partners, we are applying our technology and philanthropic resources to protect the communities that are most at-risk.


Together with Accelerator for America and the LA Mayor’s Fund, we have helped quickly and safely get money from those who want to donate to those who need it most. The campaign is leveraging Mastercard’s donation platform technology for fundraising. More than $17 million has been distributed so far, providing financial assistance to low-wage or hourly workers in LA who have been impacted. Mastercard prepaid cards are being issued to ensure help can be provided even if someone does not have a bank account.

Adapting partnerships to provide essential services

With Lyft, we expanded access to essential transportation and delivery services to low-income seniors, and families and children while schools are closed. In the UK, Mastercard partnered with Uber Eats to deliver free meals to the National Health Service heroes on the frontline of the crisis.

Rooms for responders

In Mexico, we have partnered with Marriott International Caribbean and Latin America and Banorte to support “Rooms for Responders Mexico”. The companies are donating 10 million pesos worth of hotel stays to provide free rooms to healthcare professionals.

Learning @ home with Girls4Tech™ Connect

Mastercard extended access to its signature STEM curriculum, Girls4Tech, through a suite of new online, creative educational resources. designed to help parents and teachers engage and inspire kids, ages 8-12.

Providing food to families in need

In Brazil, we have partnered with food delivery app, iFood to provide 300,000 meals to families in need.