Mastercard and Obopay recently announced their collaboration to launch a financial inclusion card for smallholder farmers and rural communities. The prepaid card will allow farmers to receive the sale proceeds for their crop digitally, spend their earnings to make purchases even in remote locations that have poor or no connectivity, and build a transaction history based on their income and expenditure to access customized credit options.
The prepaid card will work in tandem with the existing Mastercard Farm Pass platform wherein the farmers will be able to receive payments into their prepaid card account, thereby allowing them to use it to transact at local outlets. Farm Pass is part of Mastercard’s broader Community Pass infrastructure.
The card solution developed by Mastercard and Obopay is unique as it has the ability to also work offline in remote areas, ensuring rural acceptance of digital payments for buying farm inputs, agriculture equipment, or other essentials.
Obopay will link the online Prepaid cards with offline digital wallets at the backend to ensure a seamless experience for users.
Shailendra Naidu, CEO, Obopay, said, “Digital payments can be a game changer for farmers in today’s technologically driven ecosystem. We are proud to collaborate with Mastercard and develop solutions that will empower farmers in a commercially sustainable way by helping them access online payments and credit.”
Himanshu Bansal, VP, Digital and Financial Inclusion, Mastercard Community Pass, said, “Farmers in remote areas are often stifled by challenges related to connectivity, data speed, and complexities in using digital platforms. To address these concerns, Mastercard aims to empower them through solutions that are tailored to their needs and ensure transparency in the payments ecosystem. Research has shown that 50% of users who experience transaction failures during their first digital transaction go back to cash. Mastercard is delighted to collaborate with Obopay to digitally empower farmers and eliminate the credit access challenge.”