MasterCard launches UK automatic rebate programme for small businesses

Source: MasterCard

Businesses across the UK can now save money on essential purchases following MasterCard's recent launch of the UK's first ever automatic rebate programme for small business cardholders: MasterCard Business Savings.

The unprecedented new programme follows MasterCard research1 that found 81% of small business decision makers would value automatic savings on everyday purchases. With no need for promotion codes or coupons, enrolled cardholders' accounts are automatically credited with a rebate within days of spending at participating merchants.

Having enrolled their card (a simple process, open to all carriers of a MasterCard BusinessCard issued by a participating issuer), cardholders can manage their Business Savings account or access useful information, such as where savings can be made, at

Research shows that a typical small business spends approximately £15,000 pcm1. Much of this is spent on products supplied by the selection of leading business-to-business merchants that have agreed to provide long-term discounts every time MasterCard small business cardholders make a purchase with an enrolled MasterCard small business card. Initial launch partners, covering a suite of key business categories, include: Avis (vehicle hire); Barceló Hotels (lodging and meeting facilities); Hewlett Packard (computer hardware and peripherals); Microsoft adCenter (online marketing); Microsoft Store (software products); Monster (online recruitment) and Winweb (remote internet and server hosting).

Merchant offers are longstanding and, in the majority of cases, the automatic rebate is available regardless of the channel cardholders use to make a purchase. All suppliers signed up to the programme allow cardholders to benefit from the automatic rebate in addition to any separate offers open to them.

Hany Fam, General Manager, UK & Ireland Markets, MasterCard, said: "This is a difficult economic climate for small businesses and precisely the time they are looking for maximum value for money. MasterCard Business Savings is a convenient and dependable way for small businesses to save up to 10% automatically on essential and everyday purchases, on top of the other benefits MasterCard business cards offer, including cash-flow management and payment flexibility."

Cedric Chambaz, Marketing Manager at Microsoft adCenter, said: "Our search marketing platform enables small and medium businesses to grow their business online thanks to cost-effective, scalable and highly trackable targeted advertising. The MasterCard Business Savings partnership offers our customers an even greater edge on their competition because their marketing budget gets them further and their ROI increases accordingly."

Chris Trethewey, Senior Product Manager for Personal Lending at Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, the first issuers to participate in the programme, explained how they are using it to remove the hassle of voucher-based loyalty schemes in the business credit card market: "At Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, we are always looking at ways to support our business customers and, by embracing innovations within the market, we hope to be able to help them grow their operations. The MasterCard Business Savings programme gives our existing and new customers access to rebates from an ever-growing range of suppliers, which should be of great benefit to them, particularly given the current economic environment."

The MasterCard Business Savings programme launch in the UK benefits from the organisation's experience of operating a similar programme in the United States since 2007, known as MasterCard Easy Savings, which has been highly successful in offering small businesses automatic rebates on products and services from 20 leading national merchants.

Pierre Nossent, Head of Small Business Product Development, MasterCard Europe, said: "We are working globally to build upon the success of Easy Savings, with the UK being the first market to launch outside the US. The UK programme is based upon significant field research that ascertained how much local small businesses spend, upon which products, with what payment device and from which merchants. The attitude of UK small businesses towards different payment methods was also examined.

"In addition, experience from the US shows that Easy Savings has brought benefits to merchants, helping them to generate additional revenue and, more importantly, attract new customers. MasterCard data shows small business cardholders enrolled in the programme increased their spending by more than 60 percent at participating merchants from 2007 to 2008, and nearly 70 percent of these cardholders were new customers for these merchants.

"We have taken the findings from our UK-based research and the learnings from the US to develop a programme with strong local market resonance that leverages our global platform and successes in other markets."

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