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Mastercard Romania Puts Small Businesses on the Map with 'Roadside Market'


McCann Bucharest uses Waze to reinvent roadside markets and bring local producers into the digital economy

Mastercard Romania Puts Small Businesses on the Map with 'Roadside Market'

Mastercard has launched Roadside Market, a campaign that promotes equal access to markets and financial independence for small vendors that are now part of the informal economy. 

The Roadside Market campaign has transformed roadside vendors into real small businesses and connected them through the popular Waze driving directions app to the biggest community of drivers in the world. What’s more, these vendors will now have access to a cashless payment system built just for them by Mastercard

When opening Waze for road guidance, potential customers can see in real time all the local producers that sell their products on the road, in front of their homes, in their gardens or other non-commercial locations. Consumers are presented with a short description and a a dedicated PIN to use to make a payment, while every seller will have a POS for cashless payments – provided by Mastercard. 

All over the world, roadside vendors are often seen as a low-income or underground marketplace. They are often unable to reach larger consumer markets to sell their products. Mastercard believes that these vendors should be seen and respected as micro-entrepreneurs.

The campaign was initiated in Romania, but it offers a global example for how roadside vendors can be digitalised, integrated and put in a position of bringing even more value to their communities and to the economy as a whole. 

When launched in Romania, the ROADSIDE MARKET sparked a national conversation in traditional and online media, with the country’s 5 largest TV stations covering the news and an impressive OTS estimated at 28 million views in the first 48 hours. In the first days since the launch, over 300 street vendors and small producers from all over Romania have reached out to Mastercard asking to join the program.

For Romania, small producers are invited to register their small business on The local business association My Transylvania will offer the vendors all the support they need to set up their official pin on Waze and gain access to the other assets in the campaign. 

“Cash payments have been until now the only way for the roadside vendors to be paid for their produce, which, in a more and more cashless world, limits the number of customers. Our objective was to create a precedent: integrate the small producers in the cashless payment system and promoting them in a unique way, in one of the most famous GPS navigation software app - Waze. Also, we want customers to be able to pay fast and safe for local produce, cultivated or prepared by skilled artisans. We are happy to have with us My Transylvania association as partner in the campaign, they share our mission for financial inclusion and building a better future for the small local producers,” said Cosmin Vladimirescu, Country Manager, Mastercard Romania and Croatia.

“Globally, not only in Romania, the economies are moving towards cashless. In this context, the roadside vendors that operate in the informal sector are vulnerable. They are in need of digital solutions that help them gain visibility and become a more important part of the economy. Reinventing the market place in a digital space like Waze literally puts these micro entrepreneurs on the map. This is an idea starting in Romania, but it can offer inspiration for many countries that encounter similar problems,” said Catalin Dobre, chief creative officer, McCann Worldgroup & Regional Creative Director, McCann CEE.

“Besides the obvious helps for small farmers, what got us really excited was to see how a social driving app brings its community together for an experiences that is helpful both on the road and at the destination. We’ve put the hard work and dedication of these farmers on the map and made them available for everyone through a different kind of social media,” said Ruxandra Papuc, executive creative director, McCann Bucharest.


Agency / Creative
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Categories: Business Services, Business Software

McCann EMEA, Mon, 26 Apr 2021 16:29:48 GMT