Around 500,000 new merchants across the MENA region will soon be able to take advantage of seamless and convenient virtual payment acceptance via Network International’s Tap on Phone tech, which enables smartphones to serve as payment terminals.
The project represents a key milestone between Mastercard (NYSE: MA), a tech leader in the international payments sector and Network International, an established enabler of e-commerce.
Tap on Phone powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS), gives SMEs the ability to take payments via a mobile phone. Clients can easily tap their card or device to conduct the payment on the SME merchant’s phone, with each transfer handled via MPGS. In an omni-channel environment where clients increasingly prefer more choice to pay the way they want to, Tap on Phone serves as an affordable, convenient, and welcome addition to the payment ecosystem.
“We are excited by the possibilities that expanded digital payment acceptance offer – not just for merchants and businesses, but also to the regional economies and communities that will benefit from the resulting growth in commerce. Our ongoing collaboration with Network International continues to go from strength to strength in activating expanded access to the tools and technology that are adding value and creating a foundation for shared prosperity.”
SMBs are realizing the potential of digitalization, and have identified virtual payment acceptance among the key drivers for ongoing growth. Three in four or 75% SMEs in the MENA region claims that they are optimistic about the next 12 months, according to the inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index.
Making sure that small businesses have all the support they require to go digital and grow digital is a key focus for Mastercard and Network International. The firms work cooperatively with government, financial organizations, Fintech firms, as well as the larger business community to provide opportunities for SMEs.
Andrew Key, Group MD – Acquiring, Network International, remarked:
“As a leading enabler of commerce, we remain committed to connect SMEs, the backbone of any economy, with innovative solutions that will drive wider acceptance across the region. We are proud to partner with Mastercard to grow the opportunities for entrepreneurs through the launch of Tap on Phone,”
The two firms have a long-standing partnership, bringing together Mastercard’s international expertise in payments and tech and Network International’s digital payments capabilities that have a sharp focus on security and innovation.
In 2019, Mastercard made an investment as a cornerstone investor in Network International, followed by another significant commitment over a 5-year period towards creating innovative payment solutions for consumers to support adoption of cashless payments.
Mastercard has reportedly set aside $250 million and made a commitment to connect around 50 million MSMEs internationally to the digital economy by 2025 using its tech, network, expertise, and resources. Mastercard is also focused on connecting 25 million women entrepreneurs.