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Mastercard (MA) Teams Up to Launch Digital Solutions for SMEs

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Mastercard Incorporated (MA - Free Report) recently collaborated with the fintech platform upSWOT and travel industry player FinalPrice. The move is intended to roll out digital solutions, and assist small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in addressing cashflow and travel expense management needs.

upSWOT, which offers AI-powered apps to online and mobile banking platforms, together with Mastercard will offer software equipped to provide real-time information and forecasting abilities.

The travel booking app, FinalPrice, assembles offers provided by several hotels, airlines, and car rental providers. Consequently, it brings out the most affordable prices with no embedded charges while availing travel. As Europe’s economy continues to recover gradually from COVID-19 induced uncertainties, the continent’s SMEs will resume travel for business purpose. With the latest tie-up, the SMEs can avail up to 35% cash back on travel costs.

Moreover, the recent partnership aims to solve the two most glaring challenges that SMEs usually grapple with — efficient cashflow management and high travel expenses incurred. Notably, irrespective of industry or size, 82% of small businesses suffer from inefficacies in cashflow management. Addressing these shortcomings will assure seamless running of business operations.

Mastercard has been very active in leveraging its extensive network, insights, technology and collaborations to boost growth prospects of SMEs. The company intends to launch increased digital solutions for bringing more SMEs under the ambit of a growing digital economy. This has been of immense use to the SMEs, which were compelled to shift toward digital operations in view of drastic changes induced by the pandemic. Case in point, 70% of SMEs have either introduced new digital capabilities or bolstered their existing suite of digital services commerce channels.

Furthermore, Mastercard’s efforts bode well in the light of immense significance that SMEs hold for Europe’s economy. Stated in the official website of the European Union (EU), SMEs form an integral part of Europe’s economy and constitute 99% of the continent’s businesses. Notably, they make up for more than half of the Europe’s GDP as a result of which they play a vital role in boosting growth across each sector of the economy.

The European Commission has rolled out the SME strategy aimed at promoting sustainable business practices and increased adoption of digital technologies across the continent. These initiatives will aid Mastercard’s endeavors of rolling out new products and enhanced payments solutions resulting in a strong footprint across Europe. The continent being a lucrative place for setting up a small business and growing its scale, Mastercard continues to undertake substantial investments to harness the prevailing opportunities amid Europe’s digital economy.

Other companies making efforts to help SMEs include Visa Inc. (V - Free Report) , which has been catering to the unique needs of SMEs through the Small Business Hub launched last year. Companies such as Global Payments Inc. (GPN - Free Report) and American Express Company (AXP - Free Report) have also extended a helping hand toward SMEs by rolling out advanced payments and software solutions.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 23.9% in a year compared with the industry’s growth of 11.7%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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