Mastercard and Zucchetti announce partnership to accelerate digitalization of SMEs in Italy

December 2, 2021 | By Giuliana Abbate

The collaborative agreement builds on Mastercard’s wider support of European small businesses and will enable Italian SMEs to improve efficiency of managing expenses and tax reports

Milan, 2 December 2021  – Mastercard has today, at Connext21, announced a new partnership with Zucchetti – a leading provider of business software solutions – to bring Expense Management Solution (EMS) to the offering of banks that issue Mastercard cards. The digital solution will enable Italian SMEs – which make up 99.3% of total Italian businesses – to manage their expenses more efficiently. 

Through this new partnership, Mastercard will connect Zucchetti’s experience and business solutions with its own network of digital payment issuers to provide innovation and value to Italian SMEs. This builds on Mastercard’s ongoing commitment to empower small businesses across Europe to recover, grow, and thrive in the digital economy.

The announcement comes in response to a rising demand from SMEs for digital solutions that can automate time-intensive admin responsibilities, and open doors for employees to provide meaningful value elsewhere in the business. As one of the main tasks that SMEs want an automated solution for, expense management can be a laborious task for small business professionals. It consumes between one and three hours of an employee’s working week, on average, and can lead to drops in productivity and errors in refund processing.

An EMS tool automatically fills expense forms, transforms payment card charges into expense notes, simplifies charges control, and digitally manages spending limits and payment authorizations, all in line with the company’s travel policies. All an employee needs to do to fill their expense forms is take a picture of their receipts, and a voice assistant will guide them through the process and keep them updated on company policies. With live, easy-to-understand analysis reports, businesses have constant access to an oversight of travel expenses on employee business trips.

Through collaboration between Mastercard and Zucchetti, the EMS solution will be made available through a dedicated app and will enjoy API support for eligible banking apps. The tool provides a truly automated experience for Italian SMEs to support their finance and human resources staff with accounting, tax and control management. 

“SMEs are the heart of our economy and now face the challenge of taking the next step towards digitalization, one that will be critical for their growth and fulfilment of potential. We are proud to collaborate with Zucchetti and strengthen our shared goal of deploying innovative solutions and technologies to enable small businesses to thrive in their sector. By simplifying and improving payments, we can turn the chore of expense management into an opportunity for Italian SME owners to shape a better tomorrow for their business,” said Michele Centemero, Country Manager Italy Mastercard. 

“All Italian businesses witnessed an important phase of digital acceleration during recent months, and SMEs were at the forefront of this gear change. More than ever, SMEs are now aware of how innovative solutions can reduce costs and optimize administrative and organizational processes in personnel management. The deal between Mastercard and Zucchetti aims to simplify the management of business trips and company expense forms, easing the workload for finance and human resources employees. We are seeing a clear shift from paper documents and receipts to digital alternatives that make cost and trend analyses quicker and easier. This is all beneficial to enabling businesses to make the best decisions,” added Domenico Uggeri, Vicepresident Zucchetti.

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Giuliana Abbate, Communications Italy and Western Europe