Mastercard and its strategic partner Network International, an enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East & Africa (MEA), have announced a collaboration to drive the adoption of commercial payments and solutions across the region.

The collaboration will see the launch of the Commercial Payment Platform in Q4 2020. The platform will offer business and corporate cards, travel cards, fleet cards and procurement cards among other corporate payment solutions to help businesses of all sizes across many sectors make the move to cashless and paperless payments.

Mastercard’s suite of payment solutions will enable businesses to save time, reduce costs and simplify the way they manage their business expenses. Corporate clients will further be able to benefit from Mastercard’s In Control for Commercial Payments, an innovative platform that helps improve the user experience through the creation of an end-to-end virtual payment ecosystem.

Annual commercial spend in the Middle East and Africa tallies at more than $4-trillion, but only 1% is currently done through payment cards. As commercial cards become more popular in the region, corporate clients are recognizing the benefits of card products that offer business benefits such as enhanced cash flow, more visibility, spend control, reduced reconciliation efforts, and a free credit period.

Businesses are increasingly turning to digital and remote payments, a shift that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The platform will offer advanced new technologies so businesses can move from cash-based payments to an improved, frictionless and seamless ecosystem utilizing the innovative capabilities of both Mastercard and Network International

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Network International as we strive to deliver innovative payment solutions that drive socio-economic growth across the Middle East and Africa. Mastercard and Network International share a commitment to advance opportunities and unlock the region’s immense economic potential by using technology to pave the way for a streamlined, efficient and more inclusive future,” says Raghu Malhotra, president: Middle East and Africa at Mastercard.

“Our partnership with Mastercard 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 business, government and merchants to improve their financial well-being,” says Simon Haslam, group CEO of Network International.