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Mastercard intros SME-in-a-Box to help businesses go digital

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SME-in-a-Box is a software solution made available on Android devices.
SME-in-a-Box is a software solution made available on Android devices.

Mastercard has introduced “SME-in-a-Box”, a payments acceptance service that enables small businesses to tap into the booming digital economy.

The new low-cost payments solution enables small business owners to move their businesses online and accept a range of digital payments from their customers, according to Mastercard.

Powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services’ partners, including banking solutions company SmartPesa, the new service allows SMEs to accept touchless payments from their smartphones at no additional hardware costs.

SME-in-a-Box runs as a software-based solution made available on Android mobile devices through an intuitive application.

Through its Simplify Commerce offering, Mastercard says it also enables SMEs to create an online presence through the plug-and-play e-commerce store builder, which is interfaced with an instant online checkout.

These capabilities have been packaged as a bundled solution to help support business owners to tackle the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, says Mastercard.

“The SME market represents 98% of businesses in SA, and has been deeply impacted by the pandemic,” says Gaurang Shah, senior VP of product management, digital payments and labs, Mastercard Middle East and Africa.

“We recognise the overwhelming pressure that small business owners are currently facing and are committed to supporting them through COVID-19 and beyond by bringing our tools at a low cost and rapid time to market. The SME-in-a-Box offering provides SME owners with a quick and simple way to digitise their business and build a platform for sustained future growth.”

Mastercard says it has made a global commitment to bring one billion people into the digital economy by 2025. This includes 50 million small businesses and 25 million women entrepreneurs.

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mastercard has further committed $250 million in financial, technology, product and insights support over the next five years to small businesses across the globe.

Barry Levett, founder of SmartPesa, adds: “Historically, selling products and accepting payments via multiple channels, including in-store and online, was an advantage afforded only to large retailers. We hope that the SME-in-a-Box solution gives smaller entrepreneurs across the region the confidence to expand their businesses and thrive in today’s fast-changing world.”

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