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Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) has announced that it has ventured into the buy now, pay later market (BNPL). It has so far launched installments for the U.K, Australia, and the U.S.  The company will have the same 0% interest and installment model offered by other BNPL service providers.

The Mastercard BNPL service will be launched in the first quarter of 2022. At this time, the company will also expand into other countries. Protections such as challenging claims a user doesn’t recognize and fraud protection will be offered.

Meanwhile, the Synchrony Premier World Mastercard® is now offering 2% cashback on all purchases without an annual fee. These rewards are automatically received on each card statement, where they are added as credit.

These moves come at a good time as reports by Zacks analysts show that the company’s recent product diversification, acquisitions, and geographical expansion will enhance growth.

Mastercard discusses the effects of COVID-19 on small businesses

Mastercard has also launched “Recovery Insights: Small Business Reset” to show the impact COVID-19 had on small businesses worldwide. It focuses on 19 markets globally to reveal some key trends. The first trend is about the closure of small businesses. Mastercard finds that small businesses that shut down at the beginning of the pandemic were three times less likely to reopen. It also found that small lodgings performed better than larger ones in the restaurant and lodging sector.

Another critical trend is location, which shows that people spend about 33% less at SMB retailers than the 8% increase they experienced in 2019. It also showed that small businesses were eight times more likely to launch than large businesses. Mastercard also indicates that after businesses closed during the pandemic, companies were three times more likely to go online than they did before the pandemic. The number of companies going online was highest in July 2020.

Study finds flaws in Apple Pay

Recently, a study carried out by the University of Surrey and the University of Birmingham has found severe flaws in Apple Pay. The defect found in Express Transit enables hackers to make unauthorized payments using your iPhone. The researchers have reached out to Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) to discuss the issue, but the company has not shown any intention to fix the flaw.