Mastercard, MTN to Empower Africans through Digital Financial Inclusion

February 18, 2021

Mastercard and MTN have announced a strategic partnership to enable millions of consumers in 16 countries across Africa make global e-commerce payments safely and securely.

A statement explained that through a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to MTN MoMo (Mobile Money) wallets, consumers and merchants can engage with brands and businesses abroad through digital commerce, extend their reach to an international marketplace and unlock a host of opportunities.

It noted that across Africa, mobile devices are the primary channel used to connect to the internet. According to GSMA, by 2025, it is estimated that there will be 300 million more people using their devices to access internet services. In light of this significant growth, mobile financial services have become the dominant form of digital payments, with twice as many mobile money accounts as bank accounts in the region.

“As a result, consumers increasingly expect to have access to a broader range of digital financial services. Both Mastercard and MTN are of the view that consumers and merchants are mostly restricted to a local base of online and offline businesses, therefore curtailing customers’ ability to engage in global commerce.

“Through the strategic partnership, MTN customers with a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their MoMo wallets can make payments to global online merchants through a seamless and secure digital payment experience on websites and mobile applications. The service is available regardless of whether or not the customer has a bank account,” the statement added.

According to them, the solution would enable consumers explore and shop at well-known global e-commerce brands and pay quickly and securely for leisure shopping, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services and more. It would also allow small business owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and pay with the virtual payment solution.

Speaking on the partnership, the statement quoted MTN Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer, Serigne Dioum, to have said: “We are very excited about this partnership with Mastercard, which is another step in realising our ambition to build Africa’s largest Fintech platform, accelerating economic and social development through digital innovation to the benefit of citizens across the continent and beyond.

“This noteworthy partnership is another step to enable our customers to participate in the global economy. We are resolute that accelerated financial inclusion is a potent enabler of socio-economic development that empowers the most vulnerable in society.”

Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa, Amnah Ajmal, said: “This significant milestone will enable millions of MTN customers to benefit from global digital commerce and drive digital and financial inclusion across Africa through easy and secure access to financial services.

“At Mastercard, our innovation strategy is based on partnerships and collaboration. This agreement with MTN shows that we can deliver innovative digital solutions that have a far-reaching impact and realize the true potential of inclusive growth across the continent. Partnering with MTN allows us to accelerate our global pledge to connect one billion people to the digital economy by 2025, bringing us closer to a world beyond cash.”


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