Mastercard Is Using Innovation to Empower People and Power Canada’s Economy

President of Mastercard Canada, Sasha Krstic, on Canadians’ new definition of prosperity and why it matters to business, technology and government leaders

Not long ago, the word “prosperity” might have evoked an image of financial security. But new research shows Canadians’ perceptions of wealth are changing.

“Factors such as record-high inflation and the shifting nature of work continue to reshape Canadian perspectives on our economy and individual prosperity,” says Sasha Krstic, President of Mastercard Canada. “Canadians’ view of prosperity is evolving in tandem with global challenges and societal shifts.”

Canadians Split on Views of Prosperity

New research from Mastercard on Canadians’ economic outlooks reveals polarized views of the country’s prosperity. Forty-one per cent of Canadians say we are prosperous as a nation, while 45 per cent say we are not.

But who you are affects this perception, Mastercard found. Women are less likely than men to say Canada is prosperous-37 per cent, compared to 45 per cent. And less than half of youth and students, LGBTQ+ individuals and disabled Canadians report feeling personally prosperous, compared to 60 per cent overall.

A New Definition of Prosperity

How we define prosperity is changing, too. “In the face of adversity, Canadians are adopting and reimagining ‘prosperity’ for themselves, their families and for future generations,” Krstic says.

Prosperity isn’t just about money, Mastercard found. While 46 per cent say “financial stability/economic freedom” is a top factor influencing personal prosperity, other important factors are less fiscally focused. Forty-nine per cent of respondents say health and well-being are most important and 39 per cent mention strong family and personal relationships.

Carving out a new path to economic—and overall—wellbeing

For example, Mastercard knows small businesses are the heartbeat of Canada’s economy, so the company makes significant investments to support women and Indigenous entrepreneurs. In 2021, Mastercard launched the Global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence, a Vancouver-based technology and innovation hub focused on creating solutions in cybersecurity, AI and other advanced technologies. Through the Centre of Excellence, Mastercard partners with post-secondary institutions and non-profits to cultivate Canada’s tech pipeline with diverse talent who might not otherwise have the opportunity to build careers in STEM.

“At Mastercard, we know innovation and technology drive economic growth and can foster inclusivity,” Krstic says. “The stakes to get it right have never been higher. By working together as leaders we can shape the future of the digital economy for the benefit of all Canadians.”

Survey methodology

The Mastercard survey was fielded in the first quarter of 2024. Response data are derived from a representative sample of the Canadian population (N = 1,000) that includes an oversample of small business owners (N= 200). The margin of error for commensurate nationally representative survey responses is ± 3% at the 95% confidence interval. Results shown are weighted using age and gender demographic indicators from the 2021 Canadian Census.