Mastercard has announced new support for small and medium sized business in partnership with fintech platform upSWOT and travel booking app FinalPrice.

Together the companies will provide small and medium sized businesses with solutions around cashflow, the segment’s number one issue.

Mastercard continues to help SMEs recover and succeed through several avenues, including: leveraging its extensive network, insights, technology, partnerships and philanthropic funds.

These resources deliver solutions around easing and providing cashflow management support, capital or digital services.

Meeting the challenges of the Covid crisis

Throughout Covid-19, many SMEs were forced to quickly navigate through an unknown landscape. One of the main changes many businesses underwent was the switch to digital and 70% have either added new digital capabilities or enhanced their existing digital services commerce channels.

However, the digital transformation did not stop many players in the SME ecosystem from hitting bumps in the road, and in-turn, businesses suffered severe knock-on effects often times around cashflow.

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In fact, regardless of industry or size 82% of small businesses go under due to insufficient management of cashflow. For this reason, Mastercard has developed valuable partnerships, which are key in relieving such pressures so that businesses can run more smoothly.

As lockdown measures start to ease across the region, and we move into the recovery phase, transparency around cashflow will be more valuable than ever to an SME’s business.

Mastercard’s collaboration with upSWOT provides software, which analyses key data and behaviors. It allows SMEs to be proactive in managing and mitigating cash flow related challenges with forecasting capabilities and by offering real-time relevant recommendations.

In addition, banks can use this tool to gain further insight into clients’ finances in order to provide a personalised approach.

Travel remains one of the largest expenses to a small businesses

Convenient travel booking app partner FinalPrice takes the sting out of the process by offering cash back on travel expenses.

The brand revolutionised the Online Travel sector when it became the first Online Travel Agency to come out with a subscription-based “travel as a service.”

It provides the lowest and best prices on travel by aggregating offers from numerous suppliers in hotels, airlines, and car rental companies.

There are no hidden fees, and through the Mastercard partnership SMEs across Europe are able to return to business travel and gain access to the best prices with exclusive cash back up to 35%.

Marcus O’Toole, VP Head Small Business Segment Solutions Europe at Mastercard, said:

“2020 brought a whole host of new pressures and challenges for small businesses. Almost overnight the pandemic brought about radical change in the way consumers worked, shopped, socialised and interacted. Within a matter of weeks we accelerated five years into the future around digital adoption.

“Our deep understanding of serving this segment and recognition of its challenges, particularly around cashflow management, allows us to enable customers to address the full spectrum of SME needs.

“We focus on delivering digital solutions, such as those offered in partnership with upSWOT and FinalPrice that simplify the process for small businesses, so they are not merely surviving, but thriving.”