KARACHI: Mastercard and Bank Alfalah have entered into a strategic partnership to empower businesses in Pakistan through the launch of two of Mastercard’s market-leading solutions powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services – Tap on Phone and Simplify Commerce – leveraging the power of technology to catalyze success and boost financial inclusion for businesses across the market, with a special focus on small enterprises.
The partnership allows businesses of all sizes to sign up for Mastercard Tap on Phone – an innovative, intuitive, and cost-effective application that allows businesses to embrace electronic acceptance through their smart mobile or tablet device.
Once downloaded, businesses can immediately offer it to their customers, providing consumers with a flexible, seamless, intuitive, and secure checkout experience.
Tap on Phone turns Android smartphones into secure payment acceptance devices for contactless cards, mobile wallets and smartwatches – with no additional equipment or setup-related costs, making it ideal for SMEs.
The partnership with Bank Alfalah will also see the first-ever launch of Mastercard Simplify Commerce in Pakistan.
The technology provides businesses with a suite of powerful payments and business management features that help simplify backend processes, allowing merchants to focus on core business functions as they enter and thrive in the digital marketplace.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, in 2019, SMEs constitute nearly 90 per cent of entirely private businesses and employ almost 78 per cent of the non-agricultural labor force in Pakistan reflecting the huge potential for digitalization of these businesses to boost the nation’s economy.
Atyab Tahir, Pakistan Country Manager, Mastercard, said: “By partnering with Bank Alfalah, Mastercard is making it possible for businesses to realize their full potential with two of its most innovative digital payment solutions for the first time in Pakistan – Mastercard Tap on Phone, and Simplify Commerce.
“The provision of smartphone-based acceptance solutions is a much-needed development in the pursuit of financial inclusion, particularly in Pakistan whose population of 220 million people is significantly underserved by digital point-of-sale solutions and platforms.”
Mastercard simplify is specifically designed to be easy to set up, making it possible for merchants with only a minimal amount of digital experience to access a convenient and secure acceptance solution and receive payments within a matter of minutes.
Mehreen Ahmed, Group Head – Retail Banking, Bank Alfalah, said: “The integration of the Mastercard Tap on Phone and Simplify Commerce platform is a gamechanger for Bank Alfalah SME customers and millions of consumers who will now gain access to a seamless, secure and intuitive checkout experience through their contactless cards and devices.
“By providing merchants in Pakistan with the ability to affordably turn their Android phones into secure payment acceptance devices, Bank Alfalah is making a significant contribution to SME growth and inclusion within Pakistan’s flourishing digital economy.”
The announcement builds on Mastercard’s longstanding relationship with Bank Alfalah and its ongoing support to SMEs in Pakistan and across the MENA region. Globally, Mastercard has pledged to connect one billion people and 50 million micro, medium and small businesses to the digital economy by 2025 – with a direct focus on 25 million women entrepreneurs.