Mastercard on Thursday announced a commitment of Rs 250 crore to help reboot Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and enable business recovery.
Their dependence on the cash-economy and supply chain disruptions have made small and medium businesses among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is an extension of Mastercard’s expanded worldwide commitment to financial inclusion which pledges to bring a total of one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.
Small businesses are the foundation of India’s economy, contributing nearly 35 per cent of the GDP.
“Mastercard will leverage its network, knowledge, technology and partnerships to help these enterprises sustain and grow their businesses,” said Porush Singh, Division President for South Asia at Mastercard.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Singh said global analyses indicate that SMEs can see their revenues increase by up to one-third with such technology adoption.
Mastercard said its new initiatives build on multi-year partnership with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to grow digital payments awareness and support merchant on-boarding for digital commerce.
Last year, the company launched the multi-city Team Cashless India campaign with a goal to equip one crore merchants in India with digital payments acceptance capabilities.
During the extended nationwide lockdown, more than 90 per cent of SMEs were closed for business, said CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal.
“To help these enterprises resume operations, we are pleased to partner with Mastercard in its 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,” he said.