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  • SME-in-a-Box solution will enhance the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) customer value proposition  and support the enablement of a digital-first approach for merchant mobile payments
  • Partnership will drive secure electronic payments and digital transformation of SMEs, which represent 97% of all businesses in Zambia

 05 October 2021, Johannesburg Mastercard has partnered with Zambian-based fintech company, Digital PayGo, to launch a new merchant mobile payments solution, which will enable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to safely make and receive digital payments through various online channels. This innovative solution called “SME-in-a-Box” will support the enablement of digital payments for merchants and their customers, by providing them with a convenient, easy-to-use and  safe way to perform cashless transactions  from their mobile devices.

Backed by Mastercard’s payment technology, SME-in-a-Box  enables digital transactions through the use of a USSD code, Mobile Application, Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS), a Virtual and Physical (plastic) card, and scannable QR code.

A 2020 report commissioned by the Zambian Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry indicates that SMEs represent 97% of all businesses in Zambia and employ over half of the working-class population, with nine out of 10 businesses said to operate within the informal sector. These SMEs operating in the informal sector are faced with varying challenges ranging from unanticipated financial needs, and lack of access to capital due  to insufficient  credit history thus haltering their ability to grow and scale up. SME-in-a-Box is developed to solve this pain point.

This partnership is testament to Mastercard’s commitment to leveraging  its technology and partnerships to help entrepreneurs digitize their businesses and build a platform for sustained development.  An end-to-end digital proposition, SME-in-a-Box will also enhance payment acceptance options for  SMEs and unlock their business growth by enabling them to tap into the diverse  opportunities brought about by the digital payment ecosystem.

“SMEs have an outsized impact on the economy, providing a livelihood for many while advancing inclusive growth to reduce poverty and boost prosperity. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a heightened consumer preference for cashless payment platforms and many small businesses do not have the resources and infrastructure to facilitate these kinds of transactions. Through this innovative and secure solution, SMEs will be able to pivot their businesses while aligning them to the growing consumer need to use digital payments and do so safely and conveniently.

“This partnership further reiterates Mastercard’s commitment to bringing 1 billion people globally into the digital economy by 2025 and supporting small businesses through our technology,” said Vincent Chipimo Malekani, Country Business Development Director at Mastercard, Zambia and Malawi.

Commenting on the partnership, Digital PayGo Chief Executive Officer Charity C. Mwanza said: “We are excited about this partnership as it will help SMEs  grow their businesses and contribute to the growth of the digital economy. The Zambian SME sector has been excluded in terms of access to financial services and this proposition will enhance the inclusion process through which SMEs make and receive payments through various channels.”

This partnership supports efforts by the Zambian government to accelerate financial inclusion for all citizens. According to the National Financial Inclusion Strategy of 2017, the Zambian government has outlined targets for the digitisation of government-to-persons (G2P) payments such as government salaries and refunds, and persons to government (P2G) payments such as school fees, health service cost sharing from the public, and tax payments.

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About Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks Priceless possibilities for all.