PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Mastercard and LuLu Collaborate on Cardless Payments

Lulu, mastercard, cardless payments

Mastercard is expanding its partnership with Dubai-based retail conglomerate LuLu Group.

The collaboration, announced Friday (July 5), will extend across the markets of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and newly-added Saudi Arabia, integrating Mastercard’s expertise into Lulu Group’s operation.

“The partnership will introduce revamped features and benefits, such as digital in-store transactions and more cashless experiences, as well as personalized rewards and generous cashback offers on spends at LuLu stores,” the companies said in a news release.

“Being piloted for the first time, LuLu will also deploy the Mastercard Next Gen Point of Interaction (POI) solution, allowing its consumers to make cardless payments at its self-checkout counters,” they added.

The companies said they will continue offering co-branded credit cards through their banking partners throughout the Gulf region. LuLu and Mastercard launched their first co-branded card in 2013, followed by other initiatives.

“Being able to personalize our offerings to better suit our customers’ needs, is key for Lulu Group’s growth and future ambitions,” said Saifee Rupawala, LuLu’s CEO. “Our partnership with Mastercard enables us to do this, driving our business forward. It will also enhance the rewards and advantages we are able to offer via our co-branded credit card partner network across the region.”

Elsewhere in the credit card space, PYMNTS wrote earlier this week about “credit card outsiders,” the 16% of American consumers who find themselves without a credit card.

“Lack of credit access limits these consumers’ financial flexibility and restricts their access to a valuable lifeline in emergencies,” that report said. “But these consumers are not a monolithic group. Rather, PYMNTS Intelligence finds they fall into four distinct personas: second chancers, credit curious, gone for goods and never-nevers. Nearly half of credit outsiders express a desire to obtain a card in the future.”

The research, from the report “Secured Credit Solutions: Assessing Credit Accessibility for Disenfranchised Consumers,” a collaboration with Atelio, finds that 52% of outsiders once had a credit card, though three-quarters decided to close their accounts.

These consumers point to a range of personal factors when discussing why they closed their card account. For example, more second chancers experienced higher rates of involuntary closure than other outsiders.

Recognizing the specific challenges various consumer segments face is critical for card providers and other lenders. Not having a card negatively impacts these outsiders, particularly those who struggle to pay for essential expenses.

“Many credit outsiders experience financial strains, with some even struggling with essential expenses,” PYMNTS wrote. “Emergencies are the top financial challenge, emphasizing the critical role that a cushion — even a borrowed cushion like accessible credit — plays in managing unforeseen expenses.”

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