Mastercard Bets on AI to Provide Personalized Mentorship for Global Small Businesses

The company plans to pilot the AI assistant in the U.S. later this year before expanding internationally.

Mastercard Bets on AI to Provide Personalized Mentorship for Global Small Businesses
Image Credit: Maginative

Small businesses are the backbone of the global economy, yet often lack the resources and guidance needed to thrive. To address this gap, Mastercard has announced the development of an artificial intelligence-powered tool aimed at providing customized, real-time business advice to small business owners worldwide.

Dubbed Mastercard Small Business AI, this new offering will function as an inclusive, always-on mentor. Using generative AI techniques, it is designed to deliver tailored recommendations on everything from managing finances to marketing more effectively - whenever an entrepreneur needs it.

The AI assistant draws on Mastercard's existing content repositories as well as newly licensed business articles, podcasts and interviews from a coalition of top media partners. These include Blavity Media Group, Group Black, Newsweek and TelevisaUnivision. By pooling diverse expertise, Mastercard hopes to build an AI mentor that resonates across cultures.

“Operating a small business is a point of immense passion and pride for entrepreneurs, but it’s certainly not easy,” said Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard's Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. “Mastercard Small Business AI aims to create mentorship at scale, offering always-on advice from an inclusive set of sources."

To promote fairness and mitigate bias, Mastercard is developing the tool with Create Labs, a non-profit focused on inclusive technology. Mastercard plans to pilot the AI assistant in the U.S. later this year before expanding internationally.

The move builds on Mastercard's long-running efforts to bring small businesses into the digital financial mainstream through innovations centered on efficiency and ease-of-use. With this latest rollout, Mastercard betting that the ultimate time-saver may be an AI mentor always ready to share wisdom - at any hour of day.

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