In what appears to be a first for the Central and Eastern European as well as the MENA region, Visa (NYSE: V) and Mashreq, a card acceptance service provider in the UAE, have teamed up to offer a “Rapid Seller Onboarding” program in the Middle Eastern country.
This solution should allow digital acquisition and onboarding of small businesses by enabling them to register directly with the payment acquirer (Mashreq) in order to take virtual payments from their clients in-store/at point-of-sale (POS) or online within a few business days.
At first, Visa will be introducing this solution in the UAE before offering it in other areas in Europe and the MENA region.
Visa’s Rapid Seller Onboarding program has been developed to address the major pain points that merchants and acquirers face during the typical onboarding process. These include the absence of digital touchpoints, time-consuming onboarding processes, and inadequate feedback mechanisms that lead to greater costs for merchants as well as acquirers.
UAE-headquartered small businesses are able to join the automated onboarding process by turning in the new merchant application form online via Visa’s Small Business Hub. If the application gets approved, the merchant is informed, and the preferred acceptance method is used.
Shahebaz Khan, Visa’s GM for UAE, stated:
“SMBs in the UAE have been hit hard by the pandemic and although they are on the road to recovery, we recognize the pressures they face to meet the changing payment habits of their customers. Most UAE merchants surveyed in Visa’s Small Business Recovery 2021 study (82%) see digital payments as a necessary investment in business recovery, and 51% of them expressed interest in low-cost acceptance solutions.”
“With this in mind, we are pleased to partner with Mashreq to launch ‘Rapid Seller Onboarding’, a program specifically designed to support both small businesses and acquirers with a faster, seamless and cost-effective onboarding solution. This innovative solution will accelerate the acceptance of digital payments among small businesses, which in turn will bring a number of benefits to them, including preventing revenue leakage and improving cash flow, and most importantly, accessing the UAE’s burgeoning digital economy. For acquirers, this automated onboarding process will replace the traditional model, saving them money and enabling them to increase digital payment adoption among SMBs.”
Kartik Taneja, Mashreq’s EVP- Head of Payments, remarked:
“Mashreq is glad to be the first in the region to partner with Visa for this innovative process of enabling merchant onboarding using digital acquisition. We are increasingly experiencing a shift from cash to digital payment methods in the SMB merchants segment. We are also experiencing unprecedented growth in the e-commerce merchants segment.”
Taneja also mentioned:
“The Rapid Seller Onboarding initiative will help to expedite the onboarding of these merchants with maximum convenience. A similar innovation implemented by Mashreq is its NeoBiz solution which offers a predictable and speedy digital account opening experience for SMB customers clubbed together with value added services such as payment acceptance via POS and payment gateways. We look forward to collaborating with Visa to continue our tradition of providing innovative solutions for our customers.“
The Rapid Seller Onboarding program requires completing a few steps before merchants are able to take virtual payments.
To start the onboarding journey, business owners have to do the following:
- Go to Visa’s Small Business Hub page and click “Get Started” to be redirected to Mashreq’s merchant registration page.
- Enter their personal information and then fill in business information.
- Upload the business/company license and owner ID.
- Wait for the application to be validated by the acquirer.
- The acquirer will reach out to the merchant regarding any further requirements.
- The application is approved, the preferred acceptance channel will be activated for the merchant.