Mashreq ties up with Visa to hasten SMB onboarding

Karthik Subramanian

Mashreq, the UAE-based card acceptance provider, has announced that it has tied up with Visa as it looks to push on the digital card acceptance space and bring in many more merchants onto the network in a bid to smooth the onboarding process.

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The company has identified a few pain points in the merchant onboarding process for digital card payments and it has also identified the opportunity and the need that the merchants feel for processing digital payments as the world reels under the pandemic and more users look to stay at home and use digital payments even for basic needs.

“SMBs in the UAE have been hit hard by the pandemic, and although they are on the road to recovery, we recognize the pressures they face to meet the changing payment habits of their customers,” Shahebaz Khan, Visa General Manager for the UAE, said. “Most UAE merchants surveyed in Visa’s Small Business Recovery 2021 study (82 percent) see digital payments as a necessary investment in business recovery, and 51 percent of them expressed interest in low-cost acceptance solutions.”

The pain points that were seen in the process were lengthy process for onboarding new merchants, lack of feedback mechanisms, and other such complaints. Mashreq hopes that its partnership with Visa would help iron out these pain points and it would then be able to keep the merchants engaged with quick onboarding.

“We are increasingly experiencing a shift from cash to digital payment methods in the SMB merchants segment,” said Mashreq Executive Vice President and Head of Payments Kartik Taneja. “We are also experiencing unprecedented growth in the eCommerce merchants segment.”

The Middle East region is another region that has been growing in importance for the digital payments industry over the last year or so. For many years, this region was pretty much closed for business especially for the fintech companies like brokers, trading platforms, and digital payments but over the past year or so, there have been many changes in policies and regulations which has made the entry of fintech companies into this region much easier, either alone or through mergers and partnerships.

Homegrown companies continue to control the industry in the Middle East region and they have been using fintech from outside the region as their technology partners which presents a win-win situation for all as the local companies know the markets much better and their partners from outside have the onfarstucrure to meet the demand and help them grow together.

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