Mastercard launches microsite to help small businesses in Asia Pacific recover from the coronavirus pandemic and prepare for the future. Nearly 70 per cent of SMEs in Asia Pacific are accelerating digitisation following Covid-19, study reveals.
According to the recent research by International Data Corporation (IDC), 86 per cent of small businesses also believe digitisation will help build resilience against future events. IDC suggests SMEs could add $2.6trillion to $3.1trillion to Asia Pacific’s GDP by 2024.
Reflecting the huge shift to a ‘digital first’ mindset, contactless payments via the Mastercard network were 41 per cent of in-person transactions in the third quarter of 2020 – up from 37 per cent in the second quarter and 30 per cent a year earlier.
With ATM withdrawals at an all-time low, Mastercard research shows more than 70 per cent of consumers globally plan to continue or increase online purchases and that 74 per cent intend to keep using contactless payments after the pandemic dissipates. In Asia Pacific, touch-free payments look likely to remain, according to 71 per cent of consumers in Australia, 77 per cent in India, 73 per cent in China and 62 per cent in Japan.
Mastercard’s new Digital Acceleration for Small Businesses microsite includes resources on how to digitalise and run businesses more efficiently. Guides include tips on digital transformation, e-learning courses, information about the global payment company’s products and services for SMEs. Plus cybersecurity insights and tools to reduce vulnerabilities and access to discounts on business software solutions, e-commerce platforms and digital marketing services.
Sandeep Malhotra, executive vice president for products and innovation Asia Pacific, at Mastercard, said: “SMEs have taken a particularly hard hit from the pandemic, so it’s vital for them to get the knowledge, skills and resources they need to offer an omnichannel shopping and payment experience that drives business and builds customer loyalty in the physical and digital worlds.
With consumer buying habits and expectations evolving so quickly, this initiative is just one of the ways that Mastercard is fostering financial inclusion and helping small businesses to go digital across their operations to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve cashflow management – all while staying safe and protected from cyber risks and fraud.”
The resource can be found across Mastercard’s English-language websites for Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, India and Southeast Asia. It will also be rolled out on selected non-English sites in the future.
Mastercard has secured support from website builder Wix and cloud solutions provider Zoho as sponsors of online guides. Topics include creating an online store, choosing the right domain name, and migrating to an online expense management and accounting platform.
The resources site in Asia Pacific is part of Mastercard’s global campaign to help SMEs ‘Get Paid, Get Capital and Get Digital’ through new product development, partnerships and distribution channels. Other initiatives are implemented in North America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.
Mastercard has pledged to help one billion people get access to the digital economy by 2025, including 50 million small businesses and 25 million women entrepreneurs.