Mastercard is teaming up with fintech startup Strands to offer issuing banks around the world an integrated platform of digital cash management and commercial payment tools aimed at their SME customer base.
Strands, which provides PFM tools to hundreds of banks, is tapping Mastercard's digital payments technology for its BFM (business financial management) offering, which promises to help small firms better understand their finances, project their short-term cash flow and see personalised recommendations.
Erik Brieva, CEO, Strands, says: "SMEs are the backbone of the global economy and represent one of the biggest potential sources of revenue for banks; yet they are typically offered banking solutions designed with the retail customer in mind.
"Our in-house research shows that 61 percent of SMEs place cash flow management as one of their top three priorities to help them secure their financial future, but the banking solutions offered today by issuer banks do not address these unique requirements."
Brieva is promising to help change that with the Strands BFM tools, which help manage accounts payables, receivables, budgets and provisions and are all powered by a layer of AI and machine-learning models that help users to navigate the financial needs of their businesses.
In the future, the platform will also have access to Mastercard In Control, which can help businesses track the use of commercial credit cards, Mastercard Merchant Match Tool to identify merchants that accept credit cards as a form of payment or Mastercard Easy Savings to provide loyalty rewards at select merchants and retailers.