Mastercard Launches Low-Cost Payments Solution for SMEs

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By Adedapo Adesanya 

Global payment service, Mastercard, has launched a new low-cost payments solution that enables small business owners to move their businesses online and accept a range of digital payments from their customers.

According to a release on Tuesday, the SME-in-a-Box solution is powered by Mastercard’s payment technology and that of its fintech partners, including payments and agency banking solutions company SmartPesa, a Mastercard StartPath partner.

The solution is to aid small and micro merchants across Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), region in expanding their customer base via digital platforms and enable sustainable revenue growth.

The unique offering would also enable business owners to access a wide range of financial services quickly and easily through a single intuitive app compatible with all Android mobile devices.

The app’s functionality supports contactless payments, QR code payments, and has the ability to generate e-payment links for remote payments. Acquirers can also access a white-label app to rapidly take the solution to market.

“SME in a Box offers a low-cost acceptance service that can run on smartphones and is powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services. It also delivers speed and simplicity with remote digital onboarding services from Mastercard’s StartPath partners.

“In addition, through its Simplify Commerce offering, Mastercard will enable SMEs with a plug-&-play e-commerce store builder with instant online checkout.

“These capabilities have been packaged as a bundled solution combined with special incentives to drive adoption and support business owners to tackle challenges during COVID-19,” the release stated.

Speaking on this, Mr Gaurang Shah, Mastercard senior vice president, product management, digital payments & labs, Middle East and Africa commented, “The SME market represents 90% of businesses in MENA, and has been deeply impacted by the pandemic.

“We recognize the overwhelming pressure that small business owners are currently facing and are committed to supporting them through COVID-19 and beyond by bringing our tools at a low cost and rapid time to market.

“The SME in a Box offering provides SME owners with a quick and simple way to digitize their business and build a platform for sustained future growth.”

Also, Mr Barry Levett, Founder of SmartPesa, said, “Historically, selling products and accepting payments via multiple channels, including in-store and online, was an advantage afforded only to large retailers.

“We hope that the SME in a Box solution gives smaller entrepreneurs across the region the confidence to expand their businesses and thrive in today’s fast-changing world.”

Mastercard has made a global commitment to bring 1 billion people into the digital economy by 2025. This includes 50 million small businesses and 25 million women-entrepreneurs.

And as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mastercard has pledged $250 million in financial, technology, product, and insights support over the next five years to small businesses across the globe, supporting the financial security and vitality of businesses and their workers.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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