Expanded Digital Payment Solution Will Benefit 500,000 SMEs

Expanded Digital Payment Solution Will Benefit 500,000
Expanded Digital Payment Solution Will Benefit 500,000

•By 2025, MasterCard plans to digitally connect 50 million small businesses.

An estimated 500,000 new merchants in the Middle East and Africa will soon be able to accept digital payments in a simple, seamless, and convenient manner thanks to Network International’s Tap on Phone Technology, which allows mobile phones to function as payment terminals.

The initiative represents a new milestone for Mastercard, a global payments technology provider, and Network International, a digital commerce enabler.

Tap on Phone, powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS), enables small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to accept payments via smartphones.
Customers will simply tap their cards or devices on the SME merchant’s phone to make the payment, with each transaction processed through MPGS.

Tap on Phone is seen as an innovative, affordable, convenient, and welcome addition to the payment ecosystem in an omnichannel environment where consumers increasingly want more choice in how they pay.

SMEs recognize the potential of digitalisation and have identified digital payment acceptance as one of the top growth drivers. According to the inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index, three out of every four SMEs in the Middle East and Africa are optimistic about the next 12 months.

According to Gaurang Shah, Senior Vice President, Head of Products, EEMEA, Mastercard, small businesses are critical for systemic economic recovery, and by connecting more SMEs to digital commerce tools and affordable payment acceptance solutions, “we are putting in place a strong foundation that can facilitate sustainable growth.” Mastercard is committed to providing every business with the technology and solutions it requires to thrive.”


Mastercard and Network International are committed to providing SMEs with all of the resources they require to go digital and grow digitally. To create opportunities for SMEs across the region, the two companies collaborate closely with the government, financial organizations, fintechs, and the broader business community.

Andrew Key, Network International’s Group Managing Director – Acquiring, stated, “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 excited to work with Mastercard to expand opportunities for entrepreneurs with the launch of Tap on Phone.”

The two companies have a long history of collaboration, bringing together Mastercard’s global payments and technology expertise and Network International’s renowned digital payments capabilities with a strong focus on security and innovation.

In 2019, Mastercard made a strategic investment in Network International as a cornerstone investor, followed by a five-year commitment to developing innovative payment solutions for consumers to accelerate the region’s adoption of cashless payments and propel a world beyond cash. Tap on Phone is a component of this strategy.

Mastercard has pledged $250 million and committed to connecting 50 million micro, small, and medium-sized businesses around the world to the digital economy by 2025, leveraging its technology, network, expertise, and resources to support the company’s goal of building a more sustainable and inclusive digital economy. Mastercard is working to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs as part of these efforts.