The “Roadside Market” campaign was produced in Romania by McCann Central and Eastern Europe to help small vendors the post-communist nation be recognized as legitimate businesses and offer them access to cashless payment technology. If successful, the program may be replicated elsewhere in eastern Europe.
Launched on April 19, small Romanian growers, especially those running the ubiquitous cash-only roadside stands across the Black Sea country, were urged to participate by registering through a dedicated website called My Transylvania, where they would set up individual payment pins on Waze.
“Our objective was to create a precedent: integrate the small producers in the cashless payment system and promote them in a unique way, in one of the most0famous GPS navigation software app—Waze,” said Cosmin Vladimirescu, the country manager for Mastercard Romania and Croatia. “We want customers to be able to pay fast and safely for local produce, cultivated or prepared by skilled artisans.”
Using Waze technology, customers search for the real-time locations of producers, then are given a short description and a pin number allowing them to make make cashless payments for the goods they need. The vendors are able to accept payment through a system built for them by Mastercard.
The modernization of payment options is needed because as technologies and shopping habits mature, small producers and sellers may be left behind, made “vulnerable” to the changing digital environment, said Catalin Dobre, the chief creative Officer for McCann Worldgroup and regional creative director for Central and Eastern Europe.
“Reinventing the marketplace in a digital space like Waze literally puts these micro-entrepreneurs on the map,” Dobre said. “This is an idea starting in Romania, but it can offer inspiration for many countries that encounter similar problems.”
Since the launch, which has gained awareness through televised discussions driving awareness of the website to around 28 million viewers within the first two days, according to the agency, with more than 300 vendors and small producers from across the country requesting to join up.