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Mastercard, Stride to Address Benefits Needs of Gig Workers

Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read

Mastercard Incorporated MA recently collaborated with Stride, which rolled out the world’s first portable benefits platform in 2014. The platform, which offers a comprehensive benefits marketplace, has been designed exclusively to benefit gig and independent workers, primarily comprising contract workers and freelancers.

Through the new partnership, Mastercard’s participating partners, which includes Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi) and Jobble, will have access to Stride’s Portable Benefits Platform. While MoCaFi intends to serve unbanked and underbanked people in the United States, Jobble caters to more than 2 million on-demand workers.

What makes Stride’s portable benefits platform noteworthy is that it offers a complete portfolio of benefits options, which entails health dental and vision benefits at lower costs. The platform not only has the advantage of telemedicine services available at discounts but also has income and expense management tools. It is worth mentioning that the platform can also be modified as per the distinctive benefits and perks of particular users.

Moreover, Mastercard cardholders will be able to utilize their cards on Stride’s Portable Benefits Platform to access affordable coverage plans from the beginning of 2021. Through this initiative, Mastercard partners intend to benefit the gig and independent workers with suitable benefits packages.

Notably, shares of Mastercard have gained 22.5% over a year compared with the industry’s growth of 11.3%.

Among its peers, Visa Inc. V has rallied 12.2% in a year’s time, while American Express Company AXP and Discover Financial Services DFS have lost 12.3% and 18.4%, respectively, in the same time period.

Gig and Independent Workers’ Benefits: Need of the Hour

In keeping pace with massive transition of the payments industry to the digital from physical, Mastercard has left no stone unturned to bring about automation and greater efficiencies across the business payment ecosystem. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Notably, Mastercard has ventured into offering a diverse range of benefits choices for the very first time. This move highlights its intention of benefiting gig and independent workers. Another fact underlined by this move is that diversified health, dental, and vision benefits will also be provided through a payments network, which is also a first.

Furthermore, Stride seems to be a suitable partner for complementing Mastercard’s endeavors, as it has been collaborating with renowned work platforms and employers of non-benefited workers for offering varied health and wealth benefits.

There is a raging need for affordable and comprehensive set of personalized financial products and solutions for gig and independent workers as most of them have no access to employer-provided benefits. These benefits are mostly available to full-time workers. This has created hurdles for the gig and independent workers to secure their future through retirement savings.

Mastercard definitely intends to capitalize on the urgent need of comprehensive benefits package by the gig workers. Per a report issued by ADP Research Institute during February 2020, there has been an increase of 15% in the number of gig workers in U.S. businesses from 2010.

Lastly, the latest move comes at an opportune time as the annual Open Enrollment Period in the United States is about to commence from Nov 1 and continue till Dec 15 of this year. With this move of Mastercard, independent workers having access to the Stride’s portable benefits platform can enroll themselves in a cost-effective health insurance plan for the next year.

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