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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Tony Chua, Singapore
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MasterCard reports double-digit growth in commercial payment solutions

Solutions have continued steady emergence in APMEA region as companies seek effective ways to manage finances.

MasterCard Worldwide on Tuesday announced double-digit growth in its Commercial Payment Solutions (CPS) business in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA) region. For the quarter ending 31 March 2010, the business posted a 25.6% increase in cards issued and a 21.6% increase in gross dollar volume versus the same period in 2009, according to a MasterCard report.

The latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence findings for the APMEA region have indicated steady optimism and an overall increase in consumer confidence levels.

Alongside this, there has been a significant rebound in business travel and commercial payment solutions have continued to steadily emerge in the APMEA region as companies and government entities seek effective ways to manage their finances and procurement processes more efficiently. The demand for commercial payments services has seen more customized solutions being developed to fully realize the unique needs of corporates and governments.

“MasterCard commercial payment products, which includes a comprehensive suite of solutions developed through extensive research and hinged on product innovation, have seen strong growth in this region as both private and public sectors drive towards greater oversight and transparency of spend, and seek to do more with less,” said Kevin Goldmintz, senior business leader, Corporate Payment Solutions, APMEA, MasterCard Worldwide.

MasterCard continues to drive innovation in corporate payments through solutions such as Corporate and Purchasing cards and the Central Travel Solution (CTS). Travel and Entertainment (T&E) is the second largest controllable expense and business travel takes up a majority of the total T&E expenses in a company. Cost control, data availability and policy compliance becomes critical to increasing negotiation power with preferred suppliers.

Smartdata.gen2 is a robust web-based reporting solution for expense and information management. The application helps companies seamlessly and more efficiently organize, consolidate, analyze, and manage financial data from commercial payment solutions card programs.

It comprises the MasterCard® Global Data Repository of daily card program data as well as enhanced supplemental data from vendors such as airlines and hotels, delivering a holistic overview of company expenditures on schedule or on demand. MasterCard has collaborated with several financial institutions across the APMEA region to launch Corporate and Purchasing Cards, powered by smartdata.gen2.

The smartdata.gen2 solution is scalable and flexible, and even works for small businesses allowing owners to track, manage and streamline their employees’ business spending.

“In addition to large businesses, the small business segment is huge and fast growing, contributing significantly to the economy. At MasterCard, we understand the dynamics of the SME market and have developed more sophisticated segmentation of the market to create more customized offerings. We have sophisticated and relevant payment products and solutions to more fully address their needs,” Goldmintz added.

Some of these innovative products and solutions introduced by MasterCard include:

  • One Card Solution for Small Business – which consolidates all business expenses on one card and is powered by smartdata.gen2, providing consolidated information about their business and enabling more efficient use of time.
  • Premium SME card programs with key features around elite travel benefits, custom rewards, and exceptional services.
  • Small Business Debit products – A debit product that offers SME’s more control and options over managing their cash flow.
  • MasterCard inControl – Allows small businesses to control where and how they want to spend by generating a secured virtual one-time use number feature that allows authorization, spending limits and usability controls to be set on a transaction-by-transaction basis, providing enhanced levels of security, control, data capture and traceability on every purchase.

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