As the COVID-19 pandemic affects economies and consumer behavior, Mastercard remains committed to getting micro and small enterprises online and helping them continue their business operations amid the crisis.
Mastercard empowers small businesses to thrive in the digital marketplace with Simplify Commerce, a simple and secure platform that makes it easier for businesses to accept electronic payments, regardless of payment network. In the Philippines, Simplify Commerce is made available to small and medium-sized merchants through The Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank), the first acquirer of the platform in the country and in Southeast Asia.
Digitizing businesses with payment technologies such as Simplify Commerce has become crucial given the rapid adoption of ecommerce in the region. In the recent Mastercard Impact Studies, a survey about the effects of COVID-19 on attitudes and behaviors among consumers and business professionals, around 40 percent of surveyed consumers in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand reported an increase in their use of home delivery services and online shopping platforms. These changes in purchasing habits also brought about a shift in payment methods, with the majority of consumers in all markets surveyed, and 64 percent in the Philippines, reporting a significant decrease in cash usage.
Taking skill levels and resource constraints into account, Simplify Commerce allows business owners, with minimal technical skills, to set up the platform within minutes, easily create their own web store and sell products on e-commerce and social media channels. Merchants will be able to accept electronic payments online, in-app, and in person using the Simplify virtual terminal. Moving away from physical invoices, merchants can issue secure e-invoices branded with their own business logo and branding, all managed from a central dashboard. Simplify also has a mobile app for iOS and Android that allows merchants to manage payment activities and add products to the storefront in real time and on the go.
Simplify Commerce is just one of the solutions from Mastercard to drive digital acceleration among small businesses. By enabling small businesses to open online storefronts, Mastercard can help them build new revenue streams and emerge stronger to ensure success in the digital environment. As part of Mastercard’s global initiative, it is also looking to equip business owners with digital skills and end-to-end digital tools that businesses need to navigate the new normal.
“Mastercard consistently introduces efficient, secure, and accessible payment technologies to support businesses as they respond to consumers’ changing habits and needs. This is also essential in creating an inclusive digital economy, with majority of businesses in the country made up of micro, small, and medium enterprises,” said Simon Calasanz, Country Manager, the Philippines, Mastercard.
The impact of COVID-19 highlighted the ability of the digital economy to sustain commerce, and revealed the disadvantage faced by small businesses that cannot participate in the digital marketplace. In Asia Pacific, SMEs make up more than 96% of all businesses and provide two-thirds of private-sector jobs. Giving them enhanced access to the digital ecosystem will allow them to drive the economies of the bigger communities that they are part of.
As part of its worldwide commitment to financial inclusion and building on its efforts to address the pandemic-related health and economic challenges facing people today, Mastercard has committed $250 million over the next five years to support small business’ financial security. It has also pledged to bring 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. To reach its goal, Mastercard is enabling these businesses to accept electronic payments while providing them with cyber security and local market intelligence solutions.