Samhita-CGF, Mswipe, USAID & Mastercard come together to digitize 100,000 micro-merchants

Mastercard has announced a strategic partnership with Samhita-Collective Good Foundation (Samhita-CGF), a social impact organization, and Mswipe, an end-to-end digital enabler for MSMEs, to bring 100,000 micro-merchants from the bottom of the pyramid into the digital economy.

Under this partnership, Mastercard and Mswipe will join the REVIVE Alliance, a blended finance platform by Samhita-CGF, supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other funders, that supports informal workers and micro-enterprises whose livelihoods have been affected during the pandemic. This partnership supports the Government’s agenda for public-private partnerships to accelerate inclusive economic growth. Till date, the REVIVE Alliance has reached over 15,000 MSMEs.

This partnership will enable REVIVE Alliance to combine a targeted digital payments incentive program with capacity building training to help micro-merchants kickstart their digital journey and drive permanent behavior change. As a result, these micro-merchants can cater to the changing consumer preference for digital payments, scale up their business, and develop a digital financial footprint, which they can use to seek formal credit from financial institutions.

“Micro-merchants are the lifeline of India. Even during the pandemic and lockdowns, they stayed open, providing households in their localities with essential goods with great risk to their safety and health. However, they face intense competition from larger, organized, and well-resourced players. This partnership will enable micro-merchants to build resilience, collaborate with modern commerce and thrive in the post COVID-19 era to ensure that local economies and livelihoods are strengthened and empowered,” said Priya Naik, Founder, Samhita-CGF, in a statement.

The model is bank-agnostic and offers settlement via prepaid card for merchants without a bank account. Onboarded micro-merchants are embedded into Mswipe’s existing ecosystem for product training, client engagement, and contact, ensuring consistent engagement with the micro-merchant, even after the program’s conclusion. This approach ensures that there is an off-ramp for philanthropic funds, enabling commercially sustainable social impact and scale in the long-term.

In a statement, Ketan Patel, Mswipe, Chief Executive Officer said, “While small and medium businesses have been fast adopters of digital acceptance solutions, micro businesses are still facing entry level barriers of ease, access and affordability and continue to be driven by cash-based transactions. With this partnership, we want to solve the infrastructure challenges, offer convenience, and create a convenient way to bring new businesses and digital micro-merchants, especially from Tier 2-6 towns, into the ecosystem.”

Commenting on this partnership, Nikhil Sahni, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard, said, “Despite tremendous potential, many small business owners remain disconnected from the vital networks and resources they need to thrive in today’s economy. Through this partnership with Samhita-CGF and Mswipe, Mastercard aims to reach the grassroots, enabling digitization of underserved MSMEs and their business continuity and growth.”

The partnership reinforces the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth’s recent launch of a new global initiative called Strive, designed to support the resilience and growth of millions of small businesses in an increasingly digital economy. The first program to be launched under the new initiative is Strive Community, developed by the Center in partnership with Caribou Digital. Strive Community will equip five million small business owners with innovative digital solutions that unleash their potential as catalysts of inclusive growth.

These efforts are a reaffirmation of the company’s worldwide commitment to financial inclusion by pledging to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025, with a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses. In 2020, Mastercard pledged $250 Million to support small businesses globally.


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