Mastercard commits Rs 250Cr to revive Indian SMBs
American multi-national company Mastercard on Thursday announced a commitment of Rs 250 crore ($33 million) to help reboot Indian SMEs and speed up their road to recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are one of the hardest-hit sectors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the initiative, Mastercard will help Indian SMBs strengthen their online and offline presence, make access to credit easier, and empower women entrepreneurs by strengthening their business acumen.
It is also collaborating with local partners to develop solutions that will help small businesses to create web stores, and provide them with technical support and analytics to deliver better user experiences.
Commenting on the announcement, Porush Singh, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard, said, "As a result of these initiatives, India’s small businesses and entrepreneurs will gain increased access to credit, and build operational efficiencies through improved customer and inventory management, employee engagement, and regulatory compliance."
Porush also said that according to global analysis, technology adoption will increase the revenues of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by up to one-third.
Praveen Khandelwal, National Secretary-General for Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), said, "More than 90 percent of SMEs" were closed when the lockdown was announced in the middle of March. Mastercard is also partners with CAIT.
"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 behaviour towards digital contactless payments over cash," Praveen said.
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 onboarding of merchants and acceptance of digital payments by merchants and kirana stores.
India is currently in the process of gradually opening the economy with stringent lockdown imposed in containment zones. COVID-19 infection is seeing a steady rise in the country, with the number of cases surpassing 7.5 lakh with Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi, topping the worst-affected cities chart.