Mastercard announces development of AI to support small businesses owners

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Payment processing company Mastercard has joined forces with Create Labs to create a generative AI tool that will mentor small business owners. 

Launching in 2025, the AI tool ‘Mastercard Small Business AI’ will initially be piloted in the US, with future plans to expand into the global market. 

Mastercard has developed the initiative after acknowledging the impact of mentorship on its own success, coupled with today’s influx of “overwhelming” data for small businesses owners. 

The announcement comes months after the company and Visa agreed terms with the Government of Canada to lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses in the country. 

Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, commented: “Operating a small business is a point of immense passion and pride for entrepreneurs, but it’s certainly not easy. 

“We are working closely with small business owners at all stages of development and seeing the myriad of challenges they face and the critical importance of mentorship to their success.  

“Mastercard Small Business AI aims to create mentorship at scale, offering always-on advice from an inclusive set of sources. This is a testament to our commitment to the small business community and to innovations that lift people up.”

With a specific aim of the tool being to limit biases and cater to diverse entrepreneurial needs, Creative Labs, a social venture offering technology access to underserved communities, has partnered with Mastercard. 

This objective is being worked towards through various techniques, such as building the AI with Mastercard’s existing repository of content – the Small Business Community, Digital Doors and Mastercard Trust Center – as well as a newly formed global media coalition. 

The coalition will include articles, podcasts and interviews from the inaugural participants, Blavity Media Group, Group Black, Newsweek and TelevisaUnivision

Bonin Bough, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of Group Black, stated: “Our hope is that these collective efforts shape a more equitable world for future generations, reducing the exclusion felt by numerous minorities and empowering them with the resources needed to succeed.

“Uniting for a common goal of inclusivity holds incredible power. Through collaboration, we are looking to combine diverse resources to enhance a tool designed for all small-and medium-sized business owners.”