Mastercard announced on Thursday that it will digitise 1,00,000 micro-merchants in India along with end-to-end digital enabler Mswipe and Samhita-Collective Good Foundation (Samhita-CGF). Mastercard and Mswipe will join Samhita-CGF’s blended finance platform that supports informal workers and micro-enterprises impacted by the pandemic.
The partnership is in line with the government's agenda for public-private partnerships to accelerate inclusive economic growth.
Mastercard and Mswipe will enable Samhita-CGF’s REVIVE Alliance for a targeted digital payments incentive program for MSMEs to kick-start their digital journey. The micro-merchants will be able to change consumer preference for digital payments, scale up their business, and develop a digital financial footprint that can be used to seek formal credit from financial institutions.
Mswipe, too, will be able to onboard micro-merchants in Tier 2-6 cities.
Priya Naik, Founder, Samhita-CGF said, “Micro-merchants are the lifeline of India. Even during the pandemic and lockdowns, they stayed open, providing households in their localities with essential goods with great risk to their safety and health. However, they face intense competition from larger, organized, and well-resourced players. This partnership will enable micro-merchants to build resilience, collaborate with modern commerce and thrive in the post COVID-19 era to ensure that local economies and livelihoods are strengthened and empowered.”
The model is bank-agnostic and will offer prepaid cards for merchants with no bank accounts. Onboarded merchants will be embedded into Mswipe’s current ecosystem for product training, client engagement, and contact.
"Despite tremendous potential, many small business owners remain disconnected from the vital networks and resources they need to thrive in today’s economy. At Mastercard, we are committed towards their inclusion into the formal economy and are applying our network, knowledge, technology, and partnerships towards building a Digitally Inclusive Bharat,” said Nikhil Sahni, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard.
Ketan Patel, Mswipe, Chief Executive Officer said, “While small and medium businesses have been fast adopters of digital acceptance solutions, micro businesses are still facing entry level barriers of ease, access and affordability and continue to be driven by cash-based transactions.”
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