- Under the MoU, the South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) and Mastercard will provide short-and long-term digital solutions for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector.
Mastercard and South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in an innovative collaboration for the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. A partnership that will offer significant business-related benefits to informal traders and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the KZN South Coast. The partnership was solidified by an SME engagement with the local business community, which was held at Margate Hotel.
“This MOU signing enables us to provide both informal traders and small businesses with the much-needed access to financial tools that will help them navigate and participate in the digital economy. In 2015, in the context of the World Bank’s Universal Financial Access 2020 initiative, Mastercard committed to providing 500 million unbanked individuals worldwide with access to the digital economy in the next five years -a target that we achieved in early 2020.
“Following this success, we then decided to double down with new targets and now aim to include a total of 1 billion unbanked and underserved individuals by 2025 while giving 50 million micro- and small merchants the ability to accept electronic payments and reaching 25 million women-owned or led businesses with our programs. Our commitment to financial inclusion has never been stronger, and our collaboration with SCTIE is a testament to this, “said Cuthbert Tembedza, Vice President of Business Development, Government Engagement, EEMEA for Mastercard.
Tembedza’s sentiments were echoed by SCTIE CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Phelisa Mangcu, who commented: “This partnership is a game changer for the KZN South Coast because of the untold yet unrealised opportunities it will bring for both tourism and investment by providing local businesses easier, cost-effective transactional platforms. Our user-friendly platforms, including the Explore KZN South Coast app and Visit KZN South Coast website, are performing well. We are excited to extend its range to include a new booking platform which is set to further connect businesses directly with tourists. This will increase occupancy rates, brand exposure and interconnectivity.”
Benefits of the MasterCard and SCTIE partnership
The joint effort between SCTIE and Mastercard will provide short- and long-term business solutions, including the provision of low-cost acceptance solutions to the SCTIE membership and the local KZN South Coast business community in general. Solutions such as Mobile Point of Sales (MPoS), Tap on Phone and QR Codes will ensure no sales are lost as more domestic and international travellers move away from cash.
“The digitising of informal traders and SMEs creates a greater financial footprint and, subsequently, more opportunities for traders seeking additional products and services from traditional banks. There is also the possibility of increased employment as new efficiencies begin to yield results in the SME service offering.” continued Mangcu.
As part of the MoU, SCTIE will also have access to the Mastercard Academy, a resource centre providing training solutions to assist SMEs, keeping them up to date on significant changes, industry information, and the latest developments in the world of payments. Plans are also underway for SCTIE to utilise the Mastercard Tourism Insights platform, which will go a long way in aiding the application of SCTIE resources. This MOU forms part of SCTIE’s ongoing efforts to support local tourism businesses and attract investment to the area.
Other measures have included:
- Putting a temporary pause on membership fees during the pandemic.
- Providing inclusive marketing strategies.
- Creating an online digital Visitor Information Centre (VIC).
- Offering operators and asset owners increased tourism exposure of developed products.
SCTIE’s focus on investment has also led to new opportunities to uplift the local community while contributing to the tourism economy.