Mastercard is teaming up with Network International, which works in digital commerce for the Middle East and Africa, to help drive the adoption of commercial payment services in that region, according to a press release.
In the fourth quarter, the two companies aim to work with "business and corporate cards, travel cards, fleet cards and procurement cards, among other corporate payment solutions" to aid businesses of varying sizes and sectors to move cashless payments.
The suite of Mastercard payment solutions aims to enable businesses to save time, reduce costs and manage business expenses in more streamlined ways, with corporate clients able to further access Mastercard's In Control for Commercial Payments, a platform that helps companies add end-to-end virtual payments for an enhanced user experience.
In addition, the release says that annual commercial spend in the Middle East and Africa tops $4 trillion, mostly done via payment cards. Commercial cards are becoming more popular and clients are reportedly seeing the benefits, which include enhanced cashflow, better visibility and spend control, fewer reconciliation efforts and a free credit period.
Simon Haslam, group CEO of Network International, said the partnership "enables us to create a consolidated framework to address some of the challenges and unlock opportunities for issuers, banks and FinTechs in the region."
"We have been accelerating and enhancing our services and innovative solutions to help large and small businesses, government and merchants to improve their financial well-being,” he added, according to the release.
Despite the rampant disruption of markets globally, Mastercard reported in August that the company was seeing a wide shift to digital B2B payments that could signal a mass move away from cash and paper checks, so as to eliminate late payments and achieve better speed and transparency.
The commercial card has grown in popularity, too, with online card payments having received the biggest share of new B2B volumes since the pandemic began.