In order to help small and medium enterprises ( SMEs ) recover from the pandemic and prepare for the future. MasterCard has launched the Digital Acceleration for the small Business microsite across Asia Pacific. As the Covid pandemic hits, there is massive shift to e-commerce and contactless payments. This feature guides on digital transformation, e-learning courses, information about MasterCard products and services for SMEs, cyber security insights and tools to reduce vulnerabilities and access to discounts on business software solutions, e-commerce platforms and digital marketing services.
“SMEs have taken a particularly hard hit from the pandemic, so it’s vital for them to get the knowledge, skills and resources they need to offer an Omni channel shopping and payment experience that drives business and builds customer loyalty in the physical and digital worlds,” said Sandeep Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Products & Innovation, Asia Pacific and MasterCard.
“With consumer buying habits and expectations evolving so quickly, this initiative is just one of the ways that MasterCard is fostering financial inclusion and helping small businesses to go digital across their operations to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve cash flow management – all while staying safe and protected from cyber risks and fraud.” The Digital Acceleration for Small Businesses center is available across Mastercard’s English-language websites for Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, India and Southeast Asia. But in the future it is said to be rolling out on Non English sites too.
“As the world shifts beyond short-term survival, SMEs need to plan for long-term success in a new world of online shopping. At Wix, we’ve seen first-hand how the past year challenged businesses in so many ways but also how it brought out their resilience, grit and adaptability .We will draw on the collective learning of the Wix team who built our e-commerce platform and the merchants who run their businesses on it to help SMEs plan and strategize for 2021,” said Liat Karpel Gurwicz, Head of e-Commerce Marketing at Wix.com. MasterCard joined forces with popular website builder Wix and with Zoho, the cloud solutions provider which has more than 60 million users, to enhance the resources for the SMEs. They are sponsoring online guides and articles on several topics like creating online store, choosing the right domains, mitigating to an online expense management and accounting platform etc.
“Even as organizations are trying to reimagine their business models, dwelling in rich content helps unlock ideas. We are excited to participate in this initiative by Mastercard, a company that is committed to empower businesses to innovate and implement superior solutions for business transformation .This initiative will further enhance and deepen digital awareness and know-how, allowing business owners and top management to make informed decisions when selecting solutions that best support evolving business needs,” said Gibu Mathew, Vice President and GM, Asia Pacific, Zoho Corp.
The goal was to bring 500 million users to financial system and they achieved it. Later MasterCard strengthened its commitment to include more by pledging to help a total of 1 billion people to get access to the digital economy by 2025. This included 50 million small businesses and 25 million women entrepreneurs. Beyond supporting businesses, the benefits of going digital are far-reaching. Digitalization of SMEs could add US$2.6 trillion to US$3.1 trillion to Asia Pacific’s GDP by 2024, a recent study by International Data Corporation showed. Due to the impact of COVID-19, it said, nearly 70% of SMEs in Asia Pacific are accelerating digitization and 86% believe this will help build resilience against future events. Reflecting the huge shift to a “digital first” mindset, contactless payments via the MasterCard network were 41% of in-person transactions in the third quarter of 2020 – up from 37% in the second quarter and 30% a year earlier.