Standard Bank, Mastercard and Google collaborate to help SMEs open their digital doors and reach more customersOctober 19, 2020 | Johannesburg, South Africa
- Partnership sees SMEs get free access to Standard Bank’s SimplyBlu powered by Mastercard plus free Google Ads to the value of R500
As Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) accelerate digital transformation efforts in response to the pandemic, today Standard Bank, Mastercard and Google announced a collaboration to help them move their businesses online, accept digital payments and attract more customers.
Through the collaboration, SMEs can get free access to Standard Bank’s SimplyBlu, an all-in-one e-commerce solution powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services, plus free Google Ads to the value of R500. These capabilities have been packaged as a bundled solution to help support business owners to tackle the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” says Nelisa Zulu from Standard Bank.
Launched in 2019, SimplyBlu enables SMEs to create an online presence through the plug-and-play e-commerce store builder, which is interfaced with an instant online checkout. Taking skill levels and resource constraints into account, the platform has been designed in such a way that users can set it up and start accepting payments in a matter of minutes.
“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,” says Suzanne Morel, Country Manager, Mastercard, South Africa.
With Google Ads, SMEs can get access to a digital marketing channel that will further help them in driving increased website visits to grow online sales, bookings or mailing list signups; more phone calls and customer interest queries; as well as more in store visits.
“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,” says Google South Africa Country Director Alistair Mokoena.
Rise of eCommerce
eCommerce has been a boon for small businesses over the last few months, largely due to consumer’s rapid adoption of online shopping and digital services as they opt to shop from the safety of their homes.
“eCommerce is a powerful tool for small businesses – be it retail operators or merchants offering services ranging from home maintenance to professional services. Our SimplyBlu platform has seen over 100 percent growth during the COVID-19 period, with business owners increasingly realising the benefits of operating their businesses on online platforms,” says Zulu.
Candy Smith, a fashion designer, opened an online shop using SimplyBlu, where she built a face mask-making business. In early March, she was selling more than 200 masks a day. By the end of May, she reached over 1,500 masks a day for individual sales and secured corporate orders of 10,000 masks at a time.
SMEs can sign up for the offer here.
Note to editors:
SMEs pay zero sign up or subscription fees when they apply for SimplyBlu powered by Mastercard, plus, get free Google Ads worth R500. Offer is valid until 31 December 2020. T&C’s apply.
About Standard Bank Group
Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets with a unique footprint across 20 African countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB.
Standard Bank has a 156-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s.
Our strategic position, which enables us to connect Africa to other select emerging markets as well as pools of capital in developed markets, and our balanced portfolio of businesses, provide significant opportunities for growth.
The group has more than 53 000 employees, approximately 1 200 branches and over 9 000 ATMs on the African continent, which enable it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.
Headline earnings for 2018 were R27.9 billion (about USD2.1 billion) and total assets were R2.1 trillion (about USD148 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation at 31 December 2018 was R289 billion (USD20 billion).
The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20,1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.
For further information, go to http://www.standardbank.com
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For more information, visit our Google Africa G+ page or our Google Africa Blog: google-africa.blogspot.com. You can also follow Google's Africa team on Twitter: twitter.com/googleafrica
About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.
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