April 23, 2024

Mastercard, MTN Group Fintech Alliance Boosts African MPE

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The Alliance is set to launch a prepaid virtual card tailored for MTN's MoMo customers, granting them access to over 100 million acceptance points globally
Serigne Dioum, Group CEO, MTN Fintech and Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, EEMEA at Mastercard. Image Courtesy: Mastercard

Mastercard and MTN Group Fintech have recently signed a multi-market agreement that will set in motion a new era of collaboration to connect millions of people and small businesses across Africa with digital tools to transact through secure mobile payments ecosystem (MPE), expanding access to the benefits of the cashless digital economy.

Industry sources added that this alliance will aid in Mastercard’s flagship technology and capabilities to support MTN’s ambition to become Africa’s largest fintech platform for both merchants and consumers. This follows Mastercard and MTN’s recent agreement for a minority investment into MTN Group Fintech – the digital financial services arm of Africa’s largest mobile network operator – that concluded this month.

Industry sources also affirmed that with the MTN’s overall subscriber base at 290 million and 60 million active monthly MoMo (Mobile Money) wallets, this agreement and partnership will impact 13 markets in Africa including Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Republic of Guinea, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia.

Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development EEMEA, Mastercard stated “Our innovation strategy is based on collaboration. We are very proud of our partnership with MTN which will enable digital commerce for millions of people in Africa. In addition, mobile money solutions can be greatly beneficial for SMEs, enabling growth through seamless commercial operations, wider payment acceptance, access to affordable credit, and secure digital tools.”

Serigne Dioum, Group CEO, MTN Fintech stated “When there is a mutual vision – in this case to bring access, progress, financial inclusion, and prosperity to people – the road to partnership is a simple one. We look forward to working with Mastercard as a partner that is also committed to the enablement of more people and businesses through collaboration into best-in-class apps, superior user experiences, safe transactions, secure remittances, new use cases, and expanded acceptance.”

Industry sources further added that this alliance will boost the local infrastructure for digital payments, support potential expansion of transactions in the future, and drive financial inclusion through access to assets.

A virtual and physical Mastercard companion card will be added to every MoMo wallet allowing users access to over 100 million acceptance locations globally enabling MTN to scale up internationally.

With this access, Mastercard will also be able to provide its cybersecurity solutions to MTN’s operations with the focus of surging customer loyalty and trust.

The agreement will enable SMEs with payment acceptance solutions such as Mastercard’s SME-in-a-Box, a low-cost payment solution that enables small business owners to move their businesses online and accept a range of digital payments from their customers.  

SME owners will now be able to access solutions with the opportunity to set up an e-commerce shopfront, including QR enablement, Tap on Phone solutions, and digital card acceptance. This aims to further elevate customer experience, reduce business costs, and open new avenues for growth and innovation.

Industry sources further added that this partnership will aid the consumers to have an expanded reach for mobile money remittance services – both inward and cross-border remittances in Africa. The demand for international remittance services is growing with more than US$2 billion in daily processed transactions, equivalent to more than 40% of the GDP of Sub-Saharan Africa. International remittances via mobile money wallets grew by 65% year over year in 2020 to around US$1 billion, with no signs of slowing.

Mastercard is committed to its work with multiple telecommunications network companies across the continent and around the world, to make financial inclusion a reality. The company has pledged to bring 1 billion people and 50 million SMEs into the global digital economy by 2025. The work to provide MTN’s consumers and SME customers with easy and secure solutions, platforms, and tools is just one example of work to deliver on this goal.

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