Mastercard & Loop: Revolutionizing Payments in Saudi Arabia Mastercard & Loop: Revolutionizing Payments in Saudi Arabia

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Mastercard Incorporated MA has ventured into a groundbreaking collaboration with Loop, a Saudi Arabia-based digital payments technology company, aimed at introducing a range of credit card offerings and payment solutions throughout the Kingdom. This partnership involves an exclusive issuing deal that has already propelled Mastercard shares by 0.4% on Mar 1.

Leveraging Mastercard’s established technology and expertise, the collaboration will focus on issuing Bank Identification Number (“BIN”) ranges. BINs play a crucial role in determining the issuing financial institution of a credit card, facilitating swift financial transactions, and enhancing cardholder security against identity theft and fraud.

Therefore, these innovative payment solutions are poised to empower consumers, merchants, and fintechs across Saudi Arabia to engage seamlessly and securely in digital payments, driving a wave of digitization in their daily interactions. In light of the thriving small and medium-sized enterprises and fintech community in the Kingdom, the timing of this move couldn’t be more opportune.

Win-Win Collaboration

The collaboration between Mastercard and Loop symbolizes a mutual win-win scenario. It is expected to bolster MA’s footprint in the Kingdom, enabling it to seize a significant share of the country’s digital payments market. Saudi Arabia continues to witness a flourishing digital economy, making it a lucrative market for the partnership. Simultaneously, Loop stands to benefit by enriching its product and service offerings through this collaboration.

A burgeoning digital economy is impelling Mastercard to spearhead digital transformation initiatives across Saudi Arabia. In 2023, MA rolled out new payment flows, leveraging its cutting-edge Mastercard Payment Gateway Services technology to enhance online payment solutions in the region. This technology empowers businesses to adopt modern digital payment methods seamlessly without the hassles of navigating through complex payment technologies.

Strategic Expansion and Growth

Mastercard’s strategic partnerships and investments in Saudi Arabia underscore the company’s broader endeavor to establish a robust presence in the Middle East region, traditionally a hotspot for driving greater digitization. The digital growth in this region is fueled by rising Internet penetration rates and increased smartphone usage, further amplifying the potential for digital payment solutions.

Over the past year, Mastercard’s shares have surged by 29.9%, outpacing the industry’s growth rate of 21.1%. Currently holding a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), MA continues to demonstrate resilience and innovation in the evolving digital payments landscape.

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Exploring Potential Stocks

For investors looking to diversify within the Business Services sector, favorable stock options include PagSeguro Digital Ltd. PAGS, Barrett Business Services, Inc. BBSI, and ICF International, Inc. ICFI. While PagSeguro Digital boasts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Barrett Business Services and ICF International hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. These companies present promising investment opportunities in a dynamic market landscape.

Historical performance showcases PagSeguro Digital exceeding estimates in the last four quarters with an average beat of 10.12%. The growth projections for PAGS in 2024 indicate a 13.8% improvement in earnings and 2.4% increase in revenues from the previous year. Additionally, the consensus estimate for PAGS’ 2024 earnings has shown a positive uptrend of 2.5% in the past week.

Barrett Business Services and ICF International have also outperformed expectations in their earnings over the last four quarters. BBSI projects a 5.3% earnings growth and 6.8% revenue growth for 2024, while ICFI anticipates a 3.7% uptick in earnings and 5.6% revenue growth for the same period. The upward trend in earnings estimates highlights the potential for these companies to deliver robust performance in the near future.

With respective gains of 51%, 30.8%, and 35.8% over the past year, PagSeguro Digital, Barrett Business Services, and ICF International are demonstrating strong market momentum and growth potential, making them favorable picks in the current investment landscape.

Zacks Names “Single Best Pick to Double”

Among thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts have identified their top picks expected to surge by over 100% in the coming months. Director of Research Sheraz Mian singles out a lesser-known chemical company that has soared by 65% over the past year, yet remains undervalued. With escalating demand, optimistic 2022 earnings projections, and a $1.5 billion allocation for share buybacks, retail investors have an enticing opportunity to tap into its potential.

Comparisons are drawn with previous Zacks’ top-performing stocks such as Boston Beer Company, which witnessed a 143.0% surge in less than nine months, and NVIDIA, which skyrocketed by 175.9% in a year.

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Mastercard Incorporated (MA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Barrett Business Services, Inc. (BBSI) : Free Stock Analysis Report

ICF International, Inc. (ICFI) : Free Stock Analysis Report

PagSeguro Digital Ltd. (PAGS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of Nasdaq, Inc.

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