An estimated 500,000 new merchants across the Middle East and Africa will soon be able to benefit from simple, seamless, and convenient digital payment acceptance via Network International’s Tap on Phone technology, which enables mobile phones to act as payment terminals. The initiative marks a new milestone between Mastercard, a technology leader in the global payments industry, and Network International, a leading enabler of digital commerce.
Tap on Phone, powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS), gives small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) the ability to accept payments through a smartphone. Customers will simply tap their card or device to make the payment on the SME merchant’s phone, with each transaction processed through MPGS. In an omni-channel environment where consumers increasingly want more choice to pay the way they want to, Tap on Phone is an innovative, affordable, convenient, and welcome addition to the payment ecosystem.
“We are excited by the possibilities that expanded digital payment acceptance offers—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,” said Khalid Elgibali, Division President MENA, Mastercard.
Small and medium-sized businesses are recognizing the potential of digitalization and have identified digital payment acceptance as one of the top drivers of growth. Three in four SMEs in the Middle East and Africa are optimistic about the next 12 months, according to the inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index.
Making sure that SMEs have all the support they need to go digital and grow digital is a key focus for Mastercard and Network International. The two companies work closely with the government, financial organizations, fintechs, and the wider business community to create opportunities for SMEs across the region.
“As a leading enabler of commerce, we remain committed to connecting 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,” said Andrew Key, Group Managing Director – Acquiring, Network International.
The two companies have a long-standing partnership, bringing together Mastercard’s global expertise in payments and technology and Network International’s renowned digital payment capabilities that have a strong focus on security and innovation. In 2019, Mastercard made a strategic investment as a cornerstone investor in Network International, followed by an additional commitment over a five-year period towards developing innovative payment solutions for consumers to accelerate the adoption of cashless payments in the region and propel a world beyond cash. The launch of Tap on Phone is part of this strategy.
Mastercard has pledged $250 million and committed to connecting 50 million micro, small, and medium-sized businesses globally to the digital economy by 2025 using its technology, network, expertise, and resources in support of the company’s goal of building a more sustainable and inclusive digital economy. As part of these efforts, Mastercard is focused on connecting 25 million women entrepreneurs.