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Mastercard (MA), AEGF to Digitize India's Agriculture Space

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Mastercard Incorporated (MA - Free Report) collaborated with India-based Agri Entrepreneur Growth Foundation ("AEGF") to unveil a digital platform, Bharat Kisan Manch. The platform will be initially unveiled across the country’s three states, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and its reach will be gradually expanded to other India markets.

Mastercard Community Pass is a digital platform, which offers tools and technologies to counter infrastructure headwinds that often crop up with the digitization of rural communities. The challenges often relate to unsecured connectivity, low smartphone usage and the lack of persistent recogntion or credentials. It also equips farmers to create transaction history and credit-building opportunities, thereby paving the way for more farmers to join the formal financial system.

Backed by the strength of this MA platform, Bharat Kisan Manch targets to assist millions of farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs in India within the span of next three years. The recent partnership will witness the integration of technology and the digital payments prowess of Mastercard with AEGF’s 15,000 plus agricultural entrepreneur network and training.

This, in turn, is expected to expand the access to formal financial services, which may boost efficiency, fetch improved crop yields and increased profits for farmers. Bharat Kisan Manch will provide farmers with exposure to new agricultural marketplaces and an increased number of potential buyers, thus offering them opportunities for better livelihoods. In addition to this, farmers using online means can enhance their credit profiles and, enjoy access to institutional credit and crop advisory services through the newly unveiled platform.

The recent tie-up reinforces Mastercard’s sincere efforts to integrate digital solutions within the underserved agricultural markets of India. And the expansive footprint of AEGF across the agricultural sector of the country makes it an apt partner to complement MA’s endeavor. The move seems to be a time opportune one as well, considering an expanding agricultural market and widespread digital transformation measures which are being adopted nationwide.

The recent partnership marks an effort on the part of Mastercard to grow the customer base of its Community Pass platform, which has played a crucial role in digitizing agricultural value chains of several countries. Notably, 1.5 million farmers in India leverage Community Pass to access agricultural markets, financial services and agricultural input providers. With moves similar to the latest one, Mastercard occupies a significant share of the booming digital market of India.

Shares of Mastercard have gained 37.6% in the past year compared with the industry’s 22.5% growth. MA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).


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Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the Business Services space are Payoneer Global Inc. (PAYO - Free Report) , Paysafe Limited (PSFE - Free Report) and Verisk Analytics, Inc. (VRSK - Free Report) . Payoneer Global sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Paysafe and Verisk Analytics carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The bottom line of Payoneer Global outpaced estimates in two of the last four quarters and missed the mark twice, the average beat being 65.42%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for PAYO’s 2023 earnings is pegged at 22 cents per share. A loss of 3 cents per share was reported in the prior year. The consensus estimate for revenues suggests growth of 31.5% from the year-ago reported number. The consensus mark for PAYO’s 2023 earnings has moved 83.3% north in the past 60 days.

Paysafe’s earnings outpaced estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed the mark once, the average surprise being 153.96%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for PSFE’s 2023 earnings suggests an improvement of 5.8% from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for PSFE’s 2023 earnings has moved 4.4% north in the past 30 days.

The bottom line of Verisk Analytics outpaced estimates in three of the last four quarters and matched the mark once, the average beat being 9.85%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for VRSK’s 2023 earnings suggests an improvement of 14% from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for VRSK’s 2023 earnings has moved 3.6% north in the past 60 days.

Shares of Payoneer Global and Verisk Analytics have gained 4.1% and 38.6%, respectively, in the past year. However, the Paysafe stock has lost 30% in the same time frame.

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