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Mastercard (MA) Ties Up to Extend Payment Solutions in Pakistan

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Mastercard Incorporated (MA - Free Report) recently inked a strategic collaboration with Bank Alfalah, one of the leading Pakistan-based private banks, to launch two of its Mastercard Payment Gateway Services-backed cutting-edge digital payment solutions — Tap on Phone and Simplify Commerce — in the country for the first time. The partnership intends to benefit the bank’s customers (particularly the small and medium enterprises or SME ones) and millions of consumers spread across a rapidly growing digital marketplace.

There are several benefits of the two solutions. The first one (Mastercard Tap on Phone) enables businesses of all sizes to accept electronic payments via smartphones or tablet devices. What makes Tap on Phone more remarkable is the innovative and affordable nature that makes it easier for businesses, particularly SMEs, to sign up and download the application. The solution can also convert merchants’ Android smartphones into secure payment acceptance devices. As a result, millions of consumers (via their contactless card or device) can avail a hassle-free, instinctive and secure checkout experience.

The second solution, Mastercard Simplify Commerce, will provide an enhanced portfolio of payments and business management features to businesses in Pakistan. With the help of these features, backend processes can be eased somewhat, giving the country’s merchants more time to focus on their core business functions. Through the Simplify Commerce Platform, merchants will be able to avail a convenient and reliable acceptance solution, through a minimum digital experience, for receiving fast payments.

The recent partnership is consistent with Mastercard’s endeavor of making use of its two digital payment solutions to accelerate the widespread adoption of digital means in Pakistan. Such initiatives are expected to boost the capabilities and presence of MA across the country. There seems to be a dire need for smartphone-based acceptance solutions among the consumers of Pakistan, who have been substantially deprived of digital point-of-sale solutions and platforms. Consequently, Mastercard can capitalize on the prevailing scenario by utilizing its two innovative solutions in the market. Since SMEs constitute a massive portion of Pakistan’s private businesses, Mastercard’s move of expanding ties with Bank Alfalah to aid the country’s SMEs, which have been recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, seems to be time opportune.

MA follows a public-private partnerships strategy in Pakistan and works in unison with the government to infuse digitization across various sectors of the economy. In December 2021, Mastercard joined forces with Ravi Urban Development Authority (“RUDA”) to offer the facility of seamless digital payments in Pakistan. These initiatives, apart from strengthening MA’s presence in Pakistan, highlight its aim to harness the robust digital growth prospects prevailing amid the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) region. Pakistan is part of the region, which has been witnessing a growing digital economy buoyed by increased Internet penetration and rising smartphone usage.

Thereby, Mastercard actively pursues digital transformation efforts globally on the back of its enhanced digital capabilities, which it has developed through constant tie-ups and significant investments.

Shares of Mastercard have gained 2.1% in the past six months against the industry’s decline of 15.5%. MA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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Similar to Mastercard, other companies such as Visa Inc. (V - Free Report) , Global Payments Inc. (GPN - Free Report) and American Express Company (AXP - Free Report) have also been pursuing digital transformation efforts worldwide.

Visa makes use of advanced technologies for rolling out newer payment solutions. V has been striving hard to integrate blockchain technology with the payments platform. The launch of diversified payment alternatives, including mobile payments through Visa Checkout and Visa payWave, highlights the company’s commitment to ensuring enhanced online checkout experiences for consumers. In March 2022, Visa acquired Tink to deliver enhanced digital financial services to worldwide clients and boost its footprint in the open banking space.

Global Payments is a pure-play payments technology company boasting deep expertise in payments technology. Backed by its expertise, GPN continues to roll out a wide array of payments technology and software solutions for customers on a worldwide basis. Global Payments has joined forces with several organizations to extend its nationwide reach in the digital payments space.

American Express pursues a series of measures focused on technology advancements, the introduction of secure digital solutions and assistance in businesses to regulate payments. Several buyouts and partnerships pursued in the past have aided the company to bolster its digital capabilities and strengthen its global foothold. In March 2022, American Express extended its Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solution named, Plan It to Delta, with an aim to boost its presence in the thriving BNPL space and integrate such solutions within the travel industry.

American Express stock has gained 9.1% in the past six months. Meanwhile, shares of Visa and Global Payments have lost 2.5% and 13.6%, respectively, in the same time frame.