Empresa Interbacaria de Servicos (EMIS), the operator of Angola’s only interbank network, and MasterCard have joined hands to see that all ATMs in the country accept MasterCard debit, credit and prepaid cards.
Anyone carrying MasterCard payment cards can withdraw Angolan currency, Kwanza, from more than 2 600 ATMs, owned by the 23 banks in the EMIS network. Prior to the partnership, MasterCard cardholders could only access funds at 65 ATMs in the country.
“Modernizing our electronic payments system by linking our banks through the EMIS network to MasterCard’s global payments ecosystem will contribute significantly to Angola’s ongoing economic development,” says Jose Gualberto de Matos, CEO of EMIS.
ATM usage has increased rapidly in Angola since 2010, when EMIS reported more than 60-million transaction. In 2013, this number more than doubled to over 134 million transactions, attributed in part to the growing number of foreign visitors.
Charlton Goredema, Vice President and Area Business Head, Southern Africa at MasterCard said: “As Angola receives more tourists and business travelers from nations with strong cultural and economic ties, it is critical that the appropriate payments channels are developed to provide more convenient, secure and reliable ways to access funds in the country.”
The World Tourism and Travel Council recently reported that travel and tourism has increased Angola’s GDP (2013) by 1.4%. The Council forecasts this to increase by 8.1% in 2014. Further, travel and tourism directly supported 63,500 jobs last year, or 1.5% of total employment.
“Developing a financial ecosystem that can meet international acceptance standards further supports our government’s drive to expand domestic, regional and international tourism, as outlined in the government’s Tourism Master Plan,” says de Matos.
“Given the positive impact of tourism on Angola’s GDP, our newly integrated payments system will progress overall economic development, something that Angola is taking very seriously and getting right, as evidenced by the fact that the country now has the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa.”
The collaboration comes at a time when MasterCard is working in partnership with governments and financial institutions to broaden usage and acceptance of electronic payments, promoting their benefits relative to cash transactions.