Abhinav Anand
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Mastercard lauds unsung heroes of COVID-19 pandemic

The company has a stated objective of enabling 10 million merchants with digital payments acceptance infrastructure, along with financial literacy this year.

These are unprecedented times. People across the world have been under lockdown for more than a month now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During these tough times, neighbourhood merchants, like the ‘kirana‘ store owners, pharmacies, milkmen and vegetable/fruit vendors, have become the ultimate warriors, by ensuring that we all have adequate supply of essential commodities in our homes.

The Indian economy has over 63.4 million small merchants and traders, who account for nearly 30 per cent of India’s GDP, and keep about 460 million people employed. So, not only are they an integral part of our economy, they have also emerged as unsung heroes in the current situation. To express gratitude towards these merchants, Mastercard has released a new television commercial that features legendary cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

In the commercial, Dhoni tries to emotionally connect with Indians by reliving how merchants have been an integral part of the country’s fight against COVID-19. They have been effectively maintaining a delicate balance between social distancing and their societal commitment.

The video focuses on people from different backgrounds sharing their fondest memories of neighborhood merchants, and also thanking them for their support. The video further urges people to thank these merchants by calling on a mobile number (+91-9319138139), or tweeting a thank you message, along with #ThankYouVyapaariyo. Once the lockdown is lifted, the same number will be used to receive requests from merchants to enable their shops with digital payment acceptance infrastructure.

Mastercard has a stated objective of enabling 10 million merchants with digital payments acceptance infrastructure, along with financial literacy this year. This company’s initiative can also be seen as an extension towards its commitment to empowering India‘s merchant community. Dhoni, as the strategic partner on this journey, has played a significant role for Mastercard. It has enabled Mastercard’s ‘Team Cashless India’ initiative to reach every corner of the country to facilitate merchants’ digital payments acceptance journey.