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Free digital transformation package available for local SMEs

Standard Bank, Mastercard, and Google have announced a partnership to help small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) take their businesses online to reach more customers and accept digital payments.

 Standard Bank, Mastercard, and Google provide SMEs opportunity to go digital

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Through the partnership, SMEs will gain free access to a branded online store, as well as an all-in-one e-commerce solution powered by Mastercard Payment GatewayServices called SimplyBlu, and free online Google Ads to the value of R500. 

These are packaged as bundle solutions for small businesses to tap into a secondary market through digital means and hopefully recover from the devastating economic downturn due to Covid-19. 

Small businesses digital upliftment

In an official press release, Nelisa Zulu, a spokesperson from Standard Bank, comments on how the local bank supports small businesses and offers valuable benefits. 

“As one of South Africa’s leading financial service providers, Standard Bank is acutely aware that small businesses play an important role in driving economic growth and generating employment opportunities. Our strategic relationships with leading brands such as Mastercard and Google ensure that we are able to support small businesses and offer our clients tangible benefits that add real value.”

In 2019, Standard Bank launched SimplyBlu, a platform that allows SMEs to establish an online presence through the ‘plug-and-play’ eCommerce store builder. This innovative platform includes an instant checkout for users and creates a seamless point of sale for SMEs as they are able to obtain instant payments from buyers. 

Suzanne Morel, country manager for Mastercard, South Africa explains that as one of the largest payment processing networks in the world, it has taken into consideration the challenges faced by SMEs during the pandemic. 

“We recognise the overwhelming pressure that small business owners are currently facing and are committed to supporting them through COVID-19 and beyond as they adapt to a new way of operating and evolved customer needs. Through this collaboration, our mission is to help as many SMEs with tools and support to expand their digital capabilities and take their operations to the next level.”

As the world’s biggest search engine, Google is offering Google Ads to SMEs, allowing businesses to access digital marketing tools to drive traffic to their website and increase overall sales. In addition, SMEs will be able to generate mailing list signups and bookings via the use of Google Ads. 

Alistair Mokoena, country director of Google South Africa explains that many SMEs must transition to the digital space in order for their business to survive. 

“Small businesses have been hardest hit during this period. Many of them have had to figure out quickly how to pivot their operations to a ‘digital-first’ approach. Yet, there remains a gap between those who can access these online opportunities and those who can’t. That’s the gap we want to bridge with this collaboration.”

Sign up

Small and medium businesses have been hit the hardest during the Covid-19 pandemic, therefore Google, Standard Bank, and Mastercard partnered up to back SMEs and help them transition and take their businesses online, increasing customers and offering digital payment. 

To access this useful bundle package, SMEs must sign up before 13 December 2020.

Read more: Google launches initiatives to assist small businesses 

Featured image: PhotoMIX-Company via Pexels

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