Massmart Ramps Up eCommerce Capabilities With Mastercard Collaboration

global eCommerce

Mastercard recently teamed up with retail group Massmart to help small, medium-sized and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa find digital commerce solutions, according to a Mastercard announcement Thursday (Feb. 17).

The collaboration launched late in 2021, allowing SMMEs to buy an electronic Point of Sale (POS) or Mobile POS device at a discount from any Massmart retail outlet across in the region, including Game, Makro and Builders Warehouse stores.

“The COVID-related lockdown in 2021 and subsequent unrest experienced in July last year had a devastating effect on small businesses,” Varsha Dayaram, senior vice president for Massmart Financial Services, said in the announcement.

“Informal traders suffered enumerable losses during this time, which was exacerbated by the destruction of their POS infrastructure, thus depriving them of offering card payments as tender type at a time when card acceptance in informal communities became more pervasive as a secure and convenient alternative to cash,” she said.

According to a recent study, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Micro and Informal Businesses in South Africa,” the informal sector, which accounts for 8% of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Development and employs at least 27% of the workforce, was the hardest hit during the pandemic and civil unrest.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of South Africans say they have reduced or completely eliminated their use of cash since the COVID-19 pandemic began. More than half (57%) of South African consumers say they would avoid businesses that do not accept electronic payments.

“We recognize the overwhelming pressure that small business owners are currently facing and are committed to help them recover and come out stronger on the side,” Amnah Ajmal, executive vice president, market development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa, said in the announcement.

“Through our partnership with Massmart, we support financial inclusion – especially among informal merchants – and help these businesses deliver best-in-class consumer experiences using affordable digital payment solutions,” she said. “Strategic partnerships like this are crucial to lowering technological and cost barriers in order to connect more small businesses to the digital economy, which aids inclusive, economic growth and shows our commitment to drive a sustainable society.”

Related: Mastercard Names 16 Partners to Its Real-Time Digital Payments Program

Meanwhile, Mastercard chose 16 companies to join the Mastercard Send Partner Program: Adyen, AptPay,, Cognizant, Fenige, Green Dot, Ingo Money, KyckGlobal, Opentech, OpenText, Oracle, PayPal, Stripe, TabaPay, Transcard and Verestro.