Mastercard to bolster SME digital payment adoption in Middle East

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

Mastercard is collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to boost digital payment adoption for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the Middle East. 

The partnership aims to empower SMEs in the region by maximising digitised payment flows bolstered by Mastercard’s technologies and resources. 

Under the collaboration, Mastercard and ADGM will offer SME cards to qualified businesses, offering a seamless and secure way to manage business expenses.

Furthermore, small businesses can also participate in Mastercard’s SME business education program. The card network giant will support businesses through Start Path, a global startup engagement program that provides later-stage fintech startups with access to the company’s fintech portfolio.

J.K. Khalil, Cluster General Manager, MENA East at Mastercard, said: “SMEs are the backbone of the economy. In line with our commitment to driving financial inclusion, Mastercard has pledged to bring 50 million micro, small and medium enterprises worldwide into the digital economy by 2025. 

“To achieve our target, we are connecting small business owners to the right tools and training while helping them pay and get paid securely, access capital and go digital wherever they are. We are excited to join forces with ADGM as we enable the UAE’s SMEs to grow and thrive.”

Mastercard’s market on SME awakening report has revealed that many organisations feel discouraged from using business payment solutions and opt for personal banking products instead. Reasons for this include high fees, difficulty of use and that some companies are not big enough to qualify for mainstream business banking. 

According to the research, almost 60% of SMEs worldwide still make most payments by cumbersome bank transfers (59%), while 51% prefer to use risky cash. 

“At ADGM, we seek to play a prominent role in building a robust SME ecosystem in the UAE and creating a conducive environment for small businesses to succeed,” added Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief Market Development Officer of ADGM.

“Our partnership with Mastercard will allow us to provide SMEs with a curated value proposition that meets the full spectrum of their requirements so that business owners can focus on developing their offerings and pursuing new opportunities. We look forward to witnessing the long-term growth of the SME segment.”