Panagiotis Polydoros, Mastercard Country Manager of Greece, Cyprus and Malta, on Wednesday shared that the opportunities to turn Malta into a fintech leader are still not fully developed.
FinanceMalta recently announced a collaboration with global finance and technology leader Mastercard to enhance the development of Malta’s payment ecosystem. This increased commitment aligns with FinanceMalta’s goal of positioning Malta as a “leading regional fintech hub, fostering innovation, and driving economic development”.
Commenting on the collaboration, Mr Polydoros said that it came about due to the two entities having the “common vision to transform the smallest EU jurisdiction to a large, international fintech powerhouse”.
On Tuesday, Mastercard representatives, including Mr Polydoros, met with a number of local stakeholders in the ecosystem to present the results of a study conducted by Mastercard Advisors.
Attendees included: Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) Head of Virtual Financial Assets Herman Ciappara, Grant Thornton Partner George Vella, Malta Enterprise Head FDI: Digital Innovation Melanie Debattista, Malta Stock Exchange Executive Chairman Joseph Portelli, Malta Digital Innovation Authority CEO Kenneth Brincat, EY Strategy and Transactions Enablement Leader Theo Dix, MeDirect Bank Malta CTO Chris Portelli, Calamatta Cuschieri Co-CEO Alan Cuschieri, and DiPocket Group CCO Isidoros Mezopoulos.
Mr Polydoros thanked Akis Tsekouras, Mastercard Principal, Advisors Client Services, Cluster Lead of Greece, Cyprus and Malta, and his team for their “excellent work”, together with Senior Vice President of Global Fintech Enablement Lead Benjamin Dessy for presenting the company’s global fintech assets.
“Building on MFSA’s strategy, we jointly acknowledged that the opportunity remains largely untapped; we can and we need to do more,” Mr Polydoros explained.
He said that Mastercard recognised eight entities that have the potential to “change the landscape”, and agreed on the framework. However, the most important step was all of them committing themselves to the vision and setting “a clear roadmap for the way forward”.
Mr Mezopoulos remarked that there is “untapped potential” in the Maltese market, and that Malta is “one of those few countries that can certainly deliver way more than what its size would otherwise suggest”.
Mr Polydoros has served as Country Manager of Greece, Cyprus and Malta at Mastercard for the past year, having also worked in various other senior positions at the payments and technology company. He is vastly experienced in strategy and operations, and holds a Master of Science in Management from London Business School, among other qualifications.
Mastercard Country Manager of Greece, Cyprus and Malta Panagiotis Polydoros / LinkedIn
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