Mastercard and ADGM Spearhead Innovation in Business Payments
In a collaboration aimed at boosting the burgeoning SME sector in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE, global payment technology leader Mastercard and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) have unveiled plans to digitalise SME payment flows. The partnership aims to empower SMEs to achieve their growth potential by leveraging Mastercard's technologies and extensive resources.
As part of this collaboration, Mastercard and ADGM will introduce SME cards tailored for eligible businesses. Working in tandem with local banking partners, Mastercard and ADGM will facilitate the issuance of these SME cards, providing a seamless and secure means for managing business expenses.
Beyond the card offerings, small businesses will have the opportunity to participate in Mastercard's SME business education program. Additionally, eligible businesses can benefit from Mastercard's Start Path program, an acclaimed global startup engagement initiative that supports later-stage fintech startups by granting access to Mastercard's extensive fintech portfolio and resources crucial for rapid growth.
Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief Market Development Officer at ADGM, expressed the institution's commitment to boosting a robust SME ecosystem in the UAE, creating an environment conducive to the success of small businesses. Ramamurthy stated, "Our partnership with Mastercard will allow us to provide SMEs with a curated value proposition that meets the full spectrum of their requirements so that business owners can focus on developing their offerings and pursuing new opportunities.”
Mastercard's financial inclusion is underscored by its commitment to bring 50 million micro, small, and medium enterprises worldwide into the digital economy by 2025. J.K. Khalil, Cluster General Manager, MENA East, Mastercard, emphasised the importance of SMEs in the economy, stating, "SMEs are the backbone of the economy," and highlighted Mastercard's role in connecting small business owners to essential tools, training, and secure payment solutions.
The UAE's ongoing transition to a digital economy has seen a notable uptick in SMEs embracing digital payments. However, Mastercard's research indicates that a significant number of SMEs worldwide are hesitant to use business payment solutions, often resorting to personal banking products due to concerns such as high fees and usability issues. To address these challenges, Mastercard positions itself as a trusted provider of innovative solutions tailored to the specific needs of SMEs, with a focus on encouraging diversification and expansion.
SMEs play an important role in economic diversification and digital transformation in the UAE, contributing 63.5 percent to the nation's non-oil GDP, according to government data. The country anticipates the number of SMEs to reach one million by 2030. The collaboration between Mastercard and ADGM is to play a crucial role in propelling the long-term growth of the SME segment in the UAE.