As the digital revolution continues to transform the way shoppers pay for things amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mastercard announced a free online tool to help entrepreneurs future-proof their companies.
The Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic tool is intended to expand the New York-based global financial services company’s Digital Doors curriculum, which promises to ensure businesses have the right devices to maximize their digital presence.
“In the midst of a massive shift to digital spending, businesses everywhere and of every size are trying to appeal to a changed and changing consumer,” said Dimi Dosis, Mastercard’s president of advisors, in a statement. “With the Mastercard Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic, our mission is to help as many small businesses as possible better understand and expand their digital capabilities so they are positioned to seize the online opportunity and future-proof their business.”
A Mastercard survey revealed 76 percent of small businesses in North America said the pandemic prompted them to become more digital.
The Digital Readiness Diagnostic was crafted to assess the digital strengths and weaknesses of a business. It provides a performance score and benchmarks against industry best practices and provides customized recommendations to meet the challenge, Mastercard said.
Six key elements are examined: business strategy, management and operations, growth and marketing, getting paid, making payments and protecting employees and customers.
Mastercard provided the example of Michelle Cadore, a small business owner who founded the Yes I Am clothing brand and DA Spot NYC, a Brooklyn boutique, that was forced to close for six months when the pandemic hit.
Fortunately, Cadore quickly pivoted her business to focus on online sales and partnerships with online retailers. She introduced curbside pickup in June as customer behavior shifted. The shop reopened this month as Cadore welcomed shoppers under new retail guidelines, while continuing to reinforce her digital presence.
“By shifting our focus to e-commerce, we were able to stay connected to our customer base and keep our creative community alive,” Cadore said in a statement.
Last week, Mastercard expanded its Digital-First Card Program to access card data in a speedy, secure manner. Those processors pledge to turn work with issuing banks to offer near-instant issuance of cards.
Jess Turner, executive vice president of products and innovation for Mastercard, told PYMNTS this week the continued expansion of its Digital-First Card Program helps to move the digital card beyond just a payment instrument. It keeps track of what’s being spent and where, along with alerts and online access to card benefits.
“Consumers want cards, and they want them quickly, and they want those cards [delivered] in a digital way,” said Turner.