The Future of Commerce

Changing the Status Quo

Eimear Creaven discussed how Mastercard is working with its partners to bring millions of people, many of them women, into the financial system. She discussed innovations in technology that are changing the way commerce is done, such as through mobile devices and new uses for cards.

Key Points

  • Around 80 percent of commerce choices now are either made by or influenced by women.
  • Mastercard is ensuring that women both individually and as influencers are brought into the system.
  • They have identified 2 billion people globally who are unbanked or under-banked; many of them use only cash to engage in commerce in their daily lives. This brings with it challenges around safety and security.
  • Globally, 47 percent of women, compared to 51 percent of men, have access to financial services. Mastercard believes that up to 70 percent of women across Africa do not have access to financial services.
  • Mastercard’s global board in 2014 made a public statement that they would aim to bring over 500 million new consumers into the global financial system by 2020. They currently have reached 340 million through card payments and digital services in places such as South Africa and Nigeria.
  • In Europe, several million women are outside of the financial system. Half of those women are employed, many full-time, and 90 percent of them have lived in the same country their entire lives – so this is not a migrant issue.
  • We can add US$7 trillion into the global economy by bringing those who are currently excluded into the financial system.
  • Given the rise of payment solutions like Apple Pay and the number of hours people are spending on their phones each day, the future of commerce will likely be defined by mobile devices.

Eimear Creaven Mastercard 2017 GBA Summit


SVP, Issuers; MasterCard UK & Ireland


We, as women, are the driving force behind commerce.
— Eimear Creaven