Digital initiatives for seamless e-commerce being forged by new partnership

The digital initiatives will enhance experience for consumers

Digital initiatives for seamless travel and e-commerce being forged by new partnership between Mastercard and Singapore Tourism Board (STB)

  • Mastercard and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) Co-Develop digital initiatives and tools to Reimagine Tourism in the Digital-First Age
  • STB and Mastercard have signed a digital initiatives partnership to jointly explore solutions and ideas to transform the tourism visitor experience

Mastercard and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on September 10 announced a partnership, with STB being the first National Tourism Organisation to join Mastercard’s City Possible programme.

As part of the programme, the two partners will collaborate on addressing challenges faced by Singapore’s tourism industry. Through the partnership, a range of solutions and initiatives will be explored to help the sector transform their businesses, pivot to new audiences, and prepare for the gradual return of international visitors.

With increased demand for contactless options in a COVID-19 world, the partnership will commence with co-creating digital initiatives for seamless international travel and e-commerce, while enhancing the experience for consumers.

This partnership is under Mastercard’s City Possible program, which has been designed with the vision to #MakeTechWorkForPeople by aligning key stakeholders to address challenging issues faced by city planners. City Possible connects its members to holistic urban solutions and provides unrivalled access to the best knowledge and expertise from a global community of urban leaders, businesses, NGOs and academics.

This partnership will see Mastercard and STB collaborating on these projects with the following objectives:

digital initiatives
The digital initiatives will enhance experience for consumers

Joint Technology Development – The partners will work together to research and develop ways to enhance STB’s Visit Singapore Pass (VSP) to provide more contactless ticketing and payments for tourism offerings in Singapore. (The Visit Singapore Pass (VSP) is a single digital pass that provides visitors with seamless access to curated experiences across Singapore, using a universal ticketing standard.) This will provide a more seamless journey for all consumers in Singapore, tourists and locals alike.

Mastercard’s City Possible programme would provide strong support for the joint technology development, by dedicating talent and expertise from Mastercard’s Singapore-based Labs team to work on the project. In addition, the partners would also be able to leverage City Possible’s global network of knowledge and expertise on urban solutions to further innovate in the project.

Generate Insights and Identify Trends – The partners will also share data insights and collaborate in using the insights for business planning in the tourism industry. (STB and Mastercard said that any data sharing will be in compliance with all applicable data privacy laws and regulations.) For example, information on spending patterns and trends could help the tourism industry better plan the launch timings of promotions and campaigns.

Joint Marketing- The partners will identify opportunities to work together on joint marketing and advertising campaigns that will drive visitorship to Singapore’s tourism offerings, as Singapore prepares for the gradual return of international visitors.

“We are honoured to partner Mastercard as this collaboration will allow for greater sharing of ideas, resources, and expertise. This partnership places Singapore and STB on the path to becoming a global lab for solutions and pilots, creating travel experiences that are safe, yet personalised to the needs of our visitors,” said Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board.

“The partnership is also in line with our efforts to transform and build new capabilities for our tourism industry. As we chart a new path forward for the tourism sector, it is crucial to develop and implement solutions that can meet evolving consumer needs,” Tan said.

“The way we live, work, travel and consume has undergone rapid changes due to the pandemic. Mastercard Impact StudiesTM show that more people are adopting digital technologies, especially for payments and ecommerce, to stay safe and continue everyday living with peace of mind. There is an urgent need for public and private sector players to work together to identify the best strategies for all industries to digitize, be flexible, and agile in efforts to keep up with new consumer demands. Singapore Tourism Board has always been on the cutting edge of technological innovation, helping Singapore to maintain its leading position among the top five most popular cities in the world for international travellers. Mastercard looks forward to working closely with STB, to reimagine Singapore’s travel sector,” said Ari Sarker, Co-President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

2019 marked 10 years’ worth of insights stemming from Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index. The report showed the rise of international travel to cities around the world and the impact it is having in driving local commerce.

The report said “travel is booming, but for host countries and cities, generating profits can’t live in isolation. Holistic strategies must create pathways to sustainable and inclusive growth for all segments of society. With the right insights, innovations, and partnerships between the public and private sectors, we can help local leaders better understand how to anticipate, plan for, and manage increasing flows of visitors and how to empower businesses of all sizes to better serve the needs of international visitors. The benefits of good planning will extend beyond commerce to inclusive, sustainable growth and being respectful of local natural habitats.”

Mastercard’s globally trusted network stands at the heart of the tourism industry and today’s announcement builds on established partnerships with national, regional and city governments to provide insights into trends in the tourism industry with the goal of building more economically sustainable strategies. In 2019, the Tourism sector contributed 4% of Singapore’s annual GDP with over 19 million visitors. With this industry now facing 60%+ drop in revenue and employment. it is more critical than ever to co-create innovative technology to rejuvenate the industry and ensure an inclusive recovery.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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