Recognizing the integral role small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play in developing Asia Pacific’s economies, Mastercard together with Maestrano has announced a strategic partnership to encourage SME development by enabling issuing banks across the region to leverage cloud-based technologies. The partnership aims to help SMEs reduce operational inefficiencies and encourage greater visibility and control of finances.
As part of the agreement, Mastercard will be able to refer Maestrano as a complementary platform to its business card proposition to banks across Asia Pacific. This makes it the first SME cloud marketplace partnership for Mastercard in Asia Pacific and a big step forward in further driving its digital offering for SMEs.
According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), SMEs make up 98 percent of all enterprises in the region, and they employ up to 66 percent of the respective national workforces collectively. In certain markets, SMEs drive up to 38 percent of GDP.
Yet, SMEs do not enjoy the same economies of scale as multi-national companies, and many are hesitant to invest in their technological capabilities. For example, findings from research conducted by the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) showed that the average SME spends only 2.5 percent of its overall budget on IT. As a result, Mastercard and Maestrano’s collaboration is focused on helping provide much needed insights and infrastructure that enables SMEs to boost their growth capabilities.
By leveraging Maestrano’s unique patented technologies Connec!™ and Impac!™, issuing banks will be able to provide SMEs with an integrated solution that enables businesses to track expenditure and finances in real-time via cloud technology. Aggregating different applications, the Maestrano solution allows for sharing of data across multiple software, as well as provide reporting capability via a customized dashboard, which allows SMEs to view critical financial data in real-time. SMEs will be able to use the dashboard to derive insights on their financial position, cash flow management and debt reconciliation as well as other functions up to four months in advance.
Compatible with most cloud business applications and software available in the marketplace today, the Maestrano solution allows SMEs to save significantly on time and resources required to manage operational administration, with automatic updates across applications.
The solution provided by Mastercard and Maestrano will assist banks to more clearly differentiate their products and solutions for the SME sector, aiming to achieve greater satisfaction and improve customer loyalty. When integrated with an existing product or solution provided by a bank, the Maestrano platform can also provide insights into the financial needs and health of an SME, such that banks are able to better anticipate and meet customer needs. This will deliver improved cash flow management and reduce the amount of time required in processes such as loan applications.
Stephane Ibos, CEO of Maestrano said, “We are delighted to be working with Mastercard, to deliver an innovative opportunity for banks in the Asia Pacific region. Together we will support the growth and development of SME customers, enabling new insights and services, delivered by our unique technology.”
Philip Glickman, Regional Head, Commercial Payment Solutions, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said, “Financing for business growth and capability development is a key priority in ensuring sustainable growth for SMEs, and it is critical that SMEs are empowered with products and solutions that enable them to thrive in highly competitive, global marketplaces. Our partnership with Maestrano is part of our commitment to supporting Asia Pacific’s SMEs by providing digital, end-to-end solutions that gives them greater insight and control of their business and financial health.”
The Maestrano platform solution is currently available in several Southeast Asia markets with plans to expand into the wider Asia Pacific region by the end of the year. Interested customers can sign up for the service by contacting Mastercard representatives.