Mastercard to invest Rs 250 cr to help Indian SMEs amid COVID-19 crisis

Mastercard to invest Rs 250 cr to help Indian SMEs amid COVID-19 crisis

Mumbai, Jul 9 (PTI) Global leader in payment technology Mastercard on Thursday announced an additional Rs 250-crore investment to help small businesses in the country, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The investment, which is over and above the USD 1 billion committed for the Indian market till 2025, will be focussed on helping small businesses go digital, making access to credit easier and also supporting women entrepreneurs, its division president for South Asia Porush Singh said.

He said the company is making the investment as part of a global commitment of USD 250 million (roughly Rs 1,875 crore) following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Singh said the company has a target to equip 1 crore merchants in India with digital payment acceptance capabilities. It will help the small stores in getting access to credit through a tie-up with consumer brands who will share the stock pick-ups by a shopkeeper over time which will give a lender clear picture in the absence of balance sheets, he said.

For women entrepreneurs, it will focus on increasing their business acumen, offering marketing know-how and introducing their work to buyers, he said.

The company has hit a ‘pause’ button in activities in India, in line with the global experience, as the value of transactions has decreased due to the pandemic, he said.

The experience is the same for Mastercard across other markets as well, he said adding that this experience in India does not change the way it looks at the country from a long-term perspective.

Cross-border transactions are at a standstill, and purchases of air tickets, hoteling and entertainment have also disappeared, leading to the drop in transactions, he said, declining to specify how sharp a decline it has been.

However, there has been a massive surge in contactless and online transactions but the same are of low value, he said adding that there exists acceptance infrastructure to carry out the same.

Singh said the Rs 250-crore investment is over and above the company’s commitment to invest USD 1 billion in India till 2025 and added that it has already finished a USD 1 billion investment cycle between 2014-19. PTI AA HRS



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