Kunai Helps Mastercard Serve India’s Local Merchants

What is Mastercard?


Mastercard is a global financial technology company that provides payment processing services to merchants, banks, and other financial institutions. Founded in 1966, Mastercard has since grown to become one of the world's largest payment networks, processing billions of transactions every year in over 200 countries and territories.

Mastercard offers a range of payment solutions, including credit, debit, and prepaid cards, as well as mobile payments and other digital payment technologies. The company is headquartered in Purchase, New York and employs over 20,000 people worldwide.

The Challenge

In the past decades, the world has witnessed the meteoric rise of India’s economy onto the global stage and rapid transformation into a titanic powerhouse.

In 2019, India was home to 42.5 million SMBs and possessed a GDP poised to pass Great Britain’s in 2020 (India has since overtaken Great Britain’s GDP in 2021). As such, entry into local markets represented a massive opportunity for Mastercard.

During this time, Mastercard sought to provide Acquirer partners tools to help facilitate sales, optimize timings and channels of offerings, and compete with new PayFac competitors.

However, to turn this vision into a reality, Mastercard couldn’t shoehorn in the same strategies they had been using in other countries across the globe. India’s promising merchant network could only be tapped with a thorough understanding of their local markets, a strategy customized to the needs of local merchants, and a suite of value-added services across the unique merchant types within India’s ecosystems.

The Solution

Mastercard approached Kunai to help unlock a strategy that would deepen the network's relationships with local merchants. Kunai was tasked with understanding merchant needs and unique challenges in India, devising a strategy and potential roadmap to address said challenges, and provide Mastercard an entry point into the market.

The Process

Kunai already possessed deep knowledge of India’s local markets, but thanks to their nimble development teams and exclusive global sourcing platform, they were also uniquely equipped to quickly compile foundational research from prior experiences working closely with local merchants and partners.

To develop a better understanding of the market conditions, Kunai developed a "homespun" ingestion engine designed to analyze data and evaluate the effectiveness of Mastercard’s various value-added services across the different merchant types.

Kunai then leveraged the resulting research to curate the most effective offerings to provide to local merchants from Mastercard’s preexisting suite of services. To bolster these offerings, Kunai also went on to develop an invoice tool specifically for local merchants.

Eventually this tool would be packaged together with other services and portals to facilitate sales, drive loyalty, and condense numerous money movement touchpoints onto a singular nexus.

The Result

The resulting market strategy provided Mastercard with a go-to blueprint they could leverage in order to access India’s markets by recommending products from Mastercard's service suites. The invoice tool would also open a path to localized growth across India's promising merchant network by capitalizing on the emergence of convenient fintech capabilities.

The invoice app shipped with quick and easy partner onboarding, an online portal for invoice and payment pairing, invoice and payment reminders via email and mobile, and a convenient ‘pay-online’ button embedded into MS Excel invoices. Kunai also designed and deployed an entire start-to-finish experience that not only facilitated merchant payments, but also cross-sold merchants on payment-adjacent services from Mastercard’s network.

With Kunai’s help, Mastercard fostered an end-to-end consultative sales experience both online and face-to-face.