The new markets include Chad, Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and The Gambia and they increase the firm’s investment across continent expands footprint to 48 of Africa’s 55 markets to meet the increasing need for innovative and secure payment solutions for the markets.
MasterCard will also be working 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. This will help the firm to directly contribute to the building of robust electronic payments ecosystems that support Africa’s potential for economic transformation.
Michael Miebach, Middle East and Africa President at MasterCard said, “The continent has immense strategic importance to MasterCard and we will continue to invest in infrastructure, people and know-how in this part of the world. This has been the fastest growing area for MasterCard for the past few years, and we expect it to continue to register high growth.”
MasterCard now reaches over 58,000 ATM locations and 438,000 POS terminals across Africa and has said it will introduce new technologies such as m-commerce, e-commerce, contactless technology and digital wallet services, to help the financially-underserved consumers gain access to formal financial services.
The firm has worked with Ecobankto provide access to MasterCard’s payment solutions for Ecobank’s customers in 28 African countries, including the seven new markets. It has worked with Metbank in Zimbabwe, to roll out the country’s first EMV cards and in Kenya, it is working with Equity Bank to roll out five million EMV, contactless-enabled debit and prepaid cards and then extend it to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan.
MasterCard recently launched Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) technology with Equity Bank and leading MPOS provider Ezetap and also partnered with Kenya Commercial Bank to roll out 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 and 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.Other milestones inlcude provision of a Tunisia government travel card designed specifically for its employees, a MasterCard Payroll Prepaid Program to address the financial needs of interim workers, in addition to extending the cards to local security agencies and cleaning companies in Morrocco. In Egypt, the firm launched a mobile payment wallet titled “Flous”, bringing Etisalat Egypt’s subscriber base safe and convenient payment services through the power of their mobile phones and “Phone Cash”, an innovative mobile payment service that operates independently from the network of any specific mobile company.
“Our investment in Africa, through sharing industry knowledge and best practice, and by providing training for our customer banks, merchants and retailers, means we are creating more opportunities for all stakeholders in the African payments sector and better integrating the continent’s economies with those elsewhere in the world,” concludes Miebach.