Mastercard launches BNPL commercial card for SMEs in APAC

  • Accepted at 80 million merchants worldwide
  • Small businesses to get capital as they gear up for recovery

Mastercard launches BNPL commercial card for SMEs in APACMastercard has launched a buy now, pay later (BNPL) commercial card for small and medium enterprises, riding on the global boom of the consumer-oriented BNPL industry.

Called Mastercard Pay & Split, it will enable financial institutions to provide small businesses with a similar payment product, which the company claimed is the first-of-its-kind, network-based, open-loop installments solution to be made available anywhere in the world, it said in a statement.

Mastercard said it is now available to issuers across the Asia Pacific region, the card-led product will address the demand for flexible financing options among underserved businesses.

It will help to rekindle growth among the region’s countless smaller operators during a period of continued economic uncertainty, Mastercard added.

In the Asia Pacific region, enthusiasm for commercial BNPL products is strong amongst small businesses, it said.

Interest is especially high in India and Singapore where 77% and 80% of respondents respectively expressed interest in using an installment product specifically created for small businesses, according to a Mastercard-commissioned survey conducted in 2021. 

Taking a global view, 75% of SME business owners who have used installments for personal purchases said that they would be likely to adopt similar payment solutions for their business, it added.

With Pay & Split, businesses can easily make installment finance purchases from suppliers around the globe and better manage cash flow, while eliminating the hassle of managing fragmented payment plans, Mastercard said.

During the pandemic, accessing credit or finding loans with favorable lending conditions has been a challenge for many small businesses, especially those that lack the financial record that more established businesses typically have.

Therefore, Pay & Split addresses this second critical pain point for SMEs, it argued. To this end, Pay & Split will offer a path for these smaller operators to build a credit history.

Sandeep Malhotra, executive vice president, products & innovation, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said many small business owners rely on personal lines of credit or non-bank lenders to help finance their operations, which is not ideal in terms of sustainable business growth. 

“Therefore, Mastercard Pay & Split brings new credit opportunities to smaller operators who may not meet certain thresholds for a traditional commercial credit card or term loan, but need working capital to stay afloat or expand.

I“t also opens the door for businesses to generate a credit rating, which can then be used to apply for more sophisticated credit products as the business grows,” he added.

Mastercard Pay & Split can be easily implemented by financial institutions by leveraging their existing card issuing infrastructure or by speaking to their Mastercard account manager about the Mastercard Installments Payment Service, the company said.

A new commercial product code is now available to SME card issuers across the Asia Pacific region that gives them the ability to support a commercial card program where every payment can be split into installments according to parameters set by the issuer, it added.


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