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Mastercard (MA) Ties Up to Speed Up Digitization in Italian SMEs

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Mastercard Incorporated (MA - Free Report) recently joined forces with Italy’s renowned business software solutions provider, Zucchetti, in a bid to offer a digital solution for helping the country's Small and Medium Enterprises ("SMEs") in efficient management of expenses. Offered through Mastercard issuing banks, the Expense Management Solution (“EMS”) can be availed by SMEs owners via a dedicated app.

Shares of Mastercard gained 0.6% on Dec 3.

The collaboration involves integration of the broad network of digital payment issuers of Mastercard with the business solutions and sound experience of Zucchetti. Consequently, the tool enables accounting, tax and control management. With a completely automated experience in place, the EMS tool simplifies filling up of expense forms, eases charges control and supervises spending limits and payment authorizations digitally. Also, businesses, with the help of simple analysis reports, can keep a track of travel expenses incurred on employee business trips.

As a result, the finance and human resources staff of Italian SMEs will definitely breathe a sigh of relief. Because manual expense management processes are a time-consuming task for small business owners and could often lead to errors and productivity loss. With the time saved as a result of solutions like EMS, staffs can focus their efforts on other growth areas of the business.

Initiatives similar to the latest one are expected to pave the way for accelerated digitization of SMEs. With digitization being infused across every sphere of life, SMEs have been no exception to the abovementioned trend. Such efforts undertaken seem to be time opportune on the part of Mastercard, as SMEs comprise 99.3% of total Italian businesses. The digital solution is of great help to the SMEs as these have been grappling with inadequate resources and financial uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. And MA remains committed to helping European small businesses out of the pandemic-induced rut and flourish amid a growing digital economy.

The recent partnership highlights Mastercard’s consistent efforts to upgrade the worldwide digital payments ecosystem. MA keeps on partnering with numerous well-established organizations and delivers numerous innovative digital payment solutions to bring more SMEs under the ambit of a growing digital economy. This, in turn, has helped the technology company in the global payments industry in bolstering its product suite and delve deeper into the underserved areas, thereby strengthening global presence.

In October 2021, Mastercard, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold),  partnered with Digital PayGo to unveil SME-in-a-Box solution, which intends to empower SMEs in conducting seamless digital transactions via mobile devices. By 2025, MA targets to include 50 million small businesses within the digital economy.

Similar to Mastercard, other companies making concerted efforts to help SMEs include American Express Company (AXP - Free Report) , Visa Inc. (V - Free Report) and Global Payments Inc. (GPN - Free Report) .

American Express, in a bid to help SMEs, continues to pursue a host of measures focused on technology upgradations, introduction of secured digital solutions and assisting businesses in regulating payments. The Global Commercial Services segment of AXP offers a diverse array of cards, and payment, expense management and commercial financing solutions for helping small businesses.

Visa has always been committed to providing necessary assistance to small businesses, ranging from technological assistance to empowering them with enhanced payments solutions. V has been catering to the unique needs of small and medium-sized businesses through the Small Business Hub, which was launched in 2020. Visa’s emphasis remains on providing digital assistance to underserved consumers and businesses and helping small businesses cope with the changing technology demands triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global Payments has been works closely with 3.5 million small and midsize businesses by rolling out enhanced and secured payments technology solutions. GPN equips these businesses with seamless acceptance of payments in all commerce channels, thereby resulting in better and secured outcomes for customers.

Shares of Mastercard have lost 5.5% in a year compared with the industry’s decline of 25.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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While shares of American Express has gained 25.9% in a year, stocks of Visa and Global Payments have lost 7.6% and 39.6%, respectively, in the same time frame.