Mastercard commits Rs 250 cr to support SMEs in India
New Delhi, July 9 (KNN) In a bid to provide relief and reboot the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Mastercard on Thursday announced a commitment of Rs 250 crores (USD33 million).
As part of this commitment, Mastercard will roll out multiple initiatives to help small businesses by growing digital payments awareness and providing low-cost acceptance solutions – online and offline – that are simple, safe and secure; drive inclusive growth by enabling small merchants and kirana stores with access to credit, knowledge and tools that will drive operational efficiencies; and empower women entrepreneurs by increasing their business acumen.
This is an extension of Mastercard’s expanded worldwide commitment to financial inclusion which pledges to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. In April this year, the company also pledged USD 250 million to support small businesses globally.
''Small businesses are the foundation of India’s economy, contributing nearly 35 percent of the GDP. Mastercard will leverage its network, knowledge, technology and partnerships to help these enterprises sustain and grow their businesses,'' said Porush Singh, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard, in a statement.
“We offer the highest levels of safety and security leveraging our technology, furthering trust and enabling faster adoption of technology. Global analyses indicate that SMEs can see their revenues increase by up to one-third with such technology adoption,” he added.
These new initiatives build on Mastercard’s multi-year partnership with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to grow digital payments awareness and support merchant on-boarding for digital commerce. Last year, the company launched the multi-city Team Cashless India campaign with a goal to equip 1 crore (10 million) merchants in India with digital payments acceptance capabilities. It leveraged the popularity of its brand ambassador, former captain of the Indian cricket team M S Dhoni, to educate merchants and consumers on the benefits of digital payments.
“During the extended nationwide lockdown, more than 90 percent of SMEs were closed for business. To adjust to the changing scenario, small brick-and-mortar shop owners are rushing to take their companies online. To help these enterprises resume operations, we are pleased to partner with Mastercard in their efforts to support merchants with quick and easy ways to move their businesses online, facilitate much-needed access to credit, and address shifts in consumer buying behavior towards digital contactless payments over cash,” said Praveen Khandelwal, National Secretary General for CAIT.
In June 2020, Mastercard in partnership with Axis Bank and Worldline launched a digital point-of-sale (POS) solution with “tap-on-phone” functionality that allows merchants to accept payments simply using their smartphones. The solution enables face-to-face payments with Bharat QR and NFC payments, as well as remote payments for home deliveries via link-based payments. This solution enables fast and easy on-boarding of merchants and acceptance of digital payments by merchants and kirana stores.
To further boost confidence in digital commerce and ensure safety and security of digital transactions, Mastercard has launched easy-to-use AI based applications that help pre-empt and prevent cyberattacks.