Selling and buying services and products online. Accessing cash flow reporting. Managing customer accounts and sending invoices from anywhere.
Board Member, NAWBO Institute, and Partner, MPACT Financial Group
There are so many ways in which today’s electronic payment technologies, from contactless payment solutions to digital wallets, can help small businesses gain a competitive advantage and grow, but they start with two things: financial literacy and inclusion. After all, business owners need to first be able to understand how to use and access these digital tools to best support themselves and their businesses.
In recent remarks by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen to the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, she shared, “When we talk about financial inclusion, people tend to think about connecting people with bank accounts, for instance. And that’s important. But many people also need more than the door to financial services. They need guidance in using them, help to overcome financial setbacks, tools to manage their daily needs, and support to take steps toward a brighter future. Any push for financial inclusion must include quality financial education, too.”
Boosting financial literacy
NAWBO’s corporate partner Mastercard understands the importance of financial literacy and inclusion well. In 2011, the company launched Master Your Card to collaborate and engage with 120 community partners across the nation around the shared goal of driving understanding of electronic payment technologies through access to educational sessions and other resources.
In the decade since, and at an accelerated pace during the pandemic, Master Your Card has expanded its resources and topics to meet the greater need for financial literacy as millions of Americans found themselves using contactless, electronic payment methods instead of cash — a trend that will no doubt continue. To date, the program has reached millions of individuals and businesses, including women business owners, business owners of color, aspiring entrepreneurs, and students.
Additionally during the pandemic, Mastercard committed $250 million to supporting small businesses through programs like Digital Doors, which provides small businesses with the right tools to open their digital doors to ecommerce in partnership with companies like BigCommerce, Shopify, Facebook and SquareSpace.
These tools help small business owners understand how to:
- digitally ready their businesses
- move their storefronts online
- access digital skills needed most right now
- accept digital payments
- send invoices electronically
- protect their businesses with cybersecurity.
Help is available
Other resources small business owners might consider as they enter or delve deeper into the world of electronic payment technologies include:
- NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development is NAWBO’s 501(c)3 non-profit educational foundation that seeks to provide opportunities for capacity building and organizational development for emerging and established women entrepreneurs. Look for resources and education on various financial topics.
- The Financial Literacy and Education Commission was established to improve financial literacy and education in the United States. As part of this, the commission created a national financial education website (www.MyMoney.gov) and hotline (1-888-My Money).
- Money Smart for Small Business (MSSB) was developed jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide an introduction to topics related to starting and managing a business. Materials are available for download at Money Smart – Teach – For Small Business.