MasterCard expands acceptance footprint across Africa

MasterCard has announced its expansion into seven new markets across Central and West Africa, increasing its acceptance footprint across the continent and securing a number of strategic agreements. The global payments giant now has presence in 48 of the 55 markets that make up the continent.

MasterCard is collaborating with governments, central banks, financial institutions, mobile network operators, large retailers and other stakeholders across Africa to understand the economic outlooks of these countries, their unique demographics, infrastructure challenges and opportunities. In so doing, MasterCard is directly contributing to the building of robust electronic payments ecosystems that support Africa’s potential for economic transformation.

MasterCard’s acceptance footprint, its network of ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminals, has increased significantly to reach more than 58,000 ATM locations and 438,000 POS terminals across Africa. New technologies are also being introduced thus rapidly closing the gap between the banked and unbanked. Alternative delivery channels such as m-commerce, e-commerce, contactless technology and digital wallet services, are helping financially-underserved consumers gain access to formal financial services.

 “Africa’s ongoing economic development, steady population growth and encouraging political outlook means that there is an increasing need for innovative and secure payment solutions that address market needs,” says Michael Miebach, Middle East and Africa President at MasterCard

Here are several key partnerships across the continent since January 2013:

  • A multi-country licencing contract recently signed with Ecobank, the broadest deal of its kind for MasterCard in Africa, will provide access to MasterCard’s payment solutions for Ecobank’s customers in 28 African countries, including the seven new markets.
  • In Zimbabwe, the country’s first EMV cards were rolled out as a result of MasterCard’s collaboration with Metbank.
  • In Kenya, the company announced a partnership with Equity Bank to roll out five million EMV, contactless-enabled debit and prepaid cards. This partnership will extend into Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan.
  • Still in Kenya, MasterCard and Equity Bank announced the introduction of Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) technology, a partnership with leading MPOS provider Ezetap.
  • Also in Kenya, MasterCard and Kenya Commercial Bank announced a partnership to roll out five million EMV, contactless-enabled prepaid, debit and credit cards.
  • In Nigeria, the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) also announced last year that MasterCard technology would power the National Identity Card.
  • In South Africa, MasterCard celebrated a remarkable milestone as 10 million citizens now receive their grant disbursement payments electronically through the SASSA MasterCard Debit card.
  • In Tunisia, the Central Bank of Tunisia selected MasterCard payment technology for a government travel card designed specifically for its employees.
  • In Egypt, MasterCard and Etisalat, along with National Bank of Egypt (NBE) launched the mobile payment wallet titled “Flous”, bringing Etisalat Egypt’s subscriber base safe and convenient payment services through the power of their mobile phones.
  • Also in Egypt, MasterCard, NBE, Fawry and the Egyptian Banks Company announced the launch of “Phone Cash”, an innovative mobile payment service that operates independently from the network of any specific mobile company.

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