Ecobank Nigeria and MaserCard have come together to ensure that all the bank’s customers have MasterCard debit cards. the 10 year partnership comes after a licensing agreement between the two parties to provide MasterCard payment solutions in 28 sub-Saharan African nations.
“Electronic payment platforms provide a cost-effective way to improve financial inclusion in Africa, which is at the core of the vision of Ecobank,” said Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank’s Group Executive Director, Domestic Banking. “In teaming up with MasterCard, we are providing our customers with a “best of breed” solution, combining local market knowledge and proven technological expertise with the economies of scale that derive from access to the leading pan-African payments platform.”
Nigeria is currently on a drive to accelerate the adoption of electronic payments, with various stakeholders, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, working with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), have commenced a consumer awareness campaign to explain the benefits of electronic payment platforms, with the aim of increasing their acceptance.
“In Nigeria, increased urbanization, a growing labor force and the rise of online shopping are fuelling demand for more convenient payments,” added Jibril Aku, Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria. “Using electronic payments to penetrate the country’s unbanked population of nearly 80 million also represents a market with huge, untapped potential.”
Daniel Monehin, Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard, commented: “Our vision can only become a reality through collaborations with key industry stakeholders, such as the Ecobank Group. Working together with governments, financial institutions, merchants and businesses, we will be able to help modernize the payment industry in Africa.”
In 2011, MasterCard entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Ecobank Group, through which the banking group would become an issuer and acquirer of MasterCard products in more than 1,200 branches across Africa.
The collaboration comes at a time when MasterCard is working in partnership with governments and financial institutions around the world to broaden usage and acceptance of electronic payments, promoting their benefits relative to cash transactions.