Partnerships / Acquisitions

Mastercard, Accion Offer MSMEs Funds, Technology

Mastercard and global non-profit Accion have announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to transform millions of underserved micro and small businesses around the world.

Micro-merchants, such as grocers and “mom and pop” stores, operate largely in cash rather than through safe, secure and swift, digitally enabled transactions. And, without automated tools to accurately record business interactions, store owners struggle to build a credit history.

The partnership between Mastercard and Accion aims to introduce digital technology, services and training to assist high-potential microbusinesses boost revenues and achieve greater financial security.

“This partnership is the start of something priceless. The digital transformation of financial services leads to faster, smarter and safer transactions, providing people around the world with the tools they need to achieve financial security, grow their businesses, create jobs and improve quality of life for all,” Michael Froman, vice chairman and president of strategic growth, Mastercard, said in a press release.

The companies will work together to develop solutions through research, data analytics and research and development capabilities for both existing and future programs. They will also facilitate a FinTech acceleration program to support startups that work to optimize the digital ecosystem for micro-merchants.

In addition, a $12 million grant for Accion is being provided by Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth Fund to digitize and modernize the financial service providers that serve micro-merchants, reaching up to 10 million people over the course of four years.

“Mastercard’s unrelenting focus on innovation and inclusion is helping to unlock opportunity for millions of people to build a brighter future for themselves, their families and their communities. We are thrilled to take our partnership to a new level. Together, we will work hard to ensure that today’s digital transformation of financial services benefits those who have been left out or underserved by the global financial system,” said Michael Schlein, president and CEO of Accion.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.