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500,000 new merchants, SMEs to benefit from expanded digital payment solution

By Adeyemi Adepetun
21 January 2022   |   3:39 am
An estimated 500,000 new merchants across the Middle East and Africa will soon be able to benefit from simple, seamless and convenient digital payment acceptance via Network International’s Tap on Phone...

•Mastercard to connect 50m small businesses digitally by 2025
An estimated 500,000 new merchants across the Middle East and Africa will soon be able to benefit from simple, seamless and convenient digital payment acceptance via Network International’s Tap on Phone Technology, which enables mobile phones to act as payment terminals.

The initiative marks a new milestone between Mastercard, a technology provider in the global payments industry, and Network International, an enabler of digital commerce.

Tap on Phone, powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS), gives small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) the ability to accept payments through smartphones.

Customers will simply tap their cards or devices to make the payment on the SME merchant’s phone, with each transaction processed through MPGS.

In an omnichannel environment where consumers increasingly want more choice to pay the way they want to, Tap on Phone is seen as an innovative, affordable, convenient and welcome addition to the payment ecosystem.

SMEs are recognizing the potential of digitalisation, and have identified digital payment acceptance among the top drivers for growth. Three in four SMEs in the Middle East and Africa are optimistic about the next 12 months, according to the inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index.

Senior Vice President, Head of Products, EEMEA, Mastercard, Gaurang Shah, said small businesses are crucial for systemic economic recovery, and by connecting more SMEs to digital commerce tools and affordable payment acceptance solutions “we are putting in place a strong foundation that can facilitate sustainable growth. Mastercard is dedicated to empowering every business with the technology and solutions they need to thrive.”

Making sure that SMEs have all the support they need to go digital and grow digital is a key focus for Mastercard and Network International. The two companies work closely with government, financial organizations, fintechs, and the wider business community to create opportunities for SMEs across the region.

Group Managing Director – Acquiring, Network International, Andrew Key, said: “As a leading enabler of commerce, we remain committed to connecting SMEs, the backbone of any economy, with innovative solutions that will drive wider acceptance across the region. We are proud to partner with Mastercard to grow the opportunities for entrepreneurs through the launch of Tap on Phone.”

The two companies have a long-standing partnership, bringing together Mastercard’s global expertise in payments and technology and Network International’s renowned digital payments capabilities that have a strong focus on security and innovation. In 2019, Mastercard made a strategic investment as a cornerstone investor in Network International, followed by an additional commitment over five years towards developing innovative payment solutions for consumers to accelerate the adoption of cashless payments in the region and propel a world beyond cash. The launch of Tap on Phone is part of this strategy.

Mastercard has pledged $250 million and committed to connecting 50 million micro, small and medium-sized businesses globally to the digital economy by 2025 using its technology, network, expertise, and resources in support of the company’s goal of building a more sustainable and inclusive digital economy. As part of these efforts, Mastercard is focused on connecting 25 million women entrepreneurs.