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Mastercard and Mahendra Singh Dhoni join hands to encourage a cashless India

The campaign encourages Indians to nominate one or more merchants who do not accept digital payments. Mastercard will work with CAIT, acquirer banks and fintech companies to support nominated merchants to deploy digital payments acceptance infrastructure

(L to R) Praveen Khandelwal, National Secretary General, Confederation of All India Traders; Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ari Sarker, Co-President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard at the launch of 'Team Cashless India'.

Mastercard, along with cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, announced the launch of a nationwide initiative to accelerate the acceptance and adoption of digital payments. Titled ‘Team Cashless India’, the initiative brings consumers and merchants to the forefront of the digital payments dialogue.

The campaign encourages all Indians to nominate one or more merchants who currently do not accept digital payments. Mastercard will work together with Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), acquirer banks and fintech companies to support nominated merchants to deploy digital payments acceptance infrastructure.

The initiative is in line with Mastercard’s endeavour to create an ecosystem which encourages people to use digital payments for their day-to-day purchases. To take part in ‘Team Cashless India’, anyone can either nominate merchants online or give a missed call to 9016861000. Mastercard will also conduct an outreach programme across multiple cities to educate merchants on the benefits of accepting digital payments and to provide a platform for consumers to nominate merchants. These nominations are expected to create a social movement for making India a cashless society. To garner support for the movement, Dhoni will interact with merchants and encourage them to 'bat' for a cashless India by accepting digital payments. Mastercard will provide select nominated merchants and consumers with a chance to join Dhoni’s Team Cashless India.

The government has been promoting digital payments to make digital inclusion the cornerstone of the economy and, hence, has taken several initiatives for the promotion of a cashless economy. To make this a success, the acceptance of digital payment infrastructure is of paramount importance and India will need roughly 25-30 million acceptance locations by the end of 2021. Digital payments benefit small merchants in several ways, such as lower cost of managing cash, safety and security of money and credit history that opens avenues for more business.

In line with the Government’s vision, ‘Team Cashless India’ is an important step towards Mastercard’s goal to equip 10 million merchants in India with digital payments acceptance capabilities by 2020. The active involvement of Dhoni will provide the necessary impetus to the cash-to-digital conversation while CAIT, with its extensive network of over 70 million merchants and traders, will provide the necessary scale and reach via on-the-ground outreach to merchants. Partner banks and payment facilitators will work with merchants to install digital payments infrastructure at points of sale.

Talking about the initiative, Dhoni said, “Having been brought up in a small town, I relate to the challenges due to the lack of digital infrastructure. I am truly inspired by Mastercard’s commitment to building a society where everyone has access to safe, secure, and seamless digital payments. It is a progressive journey and requires extensive teamwork.  Through Team Cashless India, I would like to invite every Indian consumer and merchant to become a part of this team and play their part in India’s evolution as a digitally empowered cashless society.”

Praveen Khandelwal, National Secretary General, CAIT, said, “CAIT is acknowledged as a national voice for merchants and traders. We are excited to be a part of Mastercard’s initiative to educate merchants about the benefits of digital payments and implement it for their business. This will not only enhance the convenience and safety of payments but also create new business opportunities for merchants, increasing their contribution to the Indian economy.”

Manish Patel, CEO and Founder, mSwipe said, “ ‘Cashless merchants in India’ has been mSwipe’s core mission and collaborating with Mastercard has fuelled our growth from 400k points of acceptance in March 2019 to 1 million points of acceptance today. Along with Mastercard brand ambassador MS Dhoni, we aim for 3 million points of acceptance by March 2020.”

Ari Sarker, Co-President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard said, “Over the years, Mastercard has invested continuously and worked tirelessly to strengthen acceptance of digital payments among merchants, especially those in tier II and III cities, as they are the real drivers of India’s economic growth. This exciting initiative brings together Mastercard’s commitment to Digital India and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s representation of a progressive ‘Bharat’. Mastercard believes Team Cashless India will play a vital role in engaging consumers and merchants to propel India’s transformation as a cashless economy.”

Mastercard has been continuously working with partner banks, CAIT, and fintech companies to enhance awareness and adoption of digital payments. This has resulted in training workshops for merchants, low-cost acceptance solutions for small merchants, and educational advertising campaigns that have led to higher awareness and perception change.

Mastercard,, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Its global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.

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