Mastercard and MTN Group Fintech Boost Mobile Money in 13 African Markets

Mastercard and MTN Group Fintech have entered into a multi-market partnership set to launch a prepaid virtual card tailored for MTN’s MoMo customers. This initiative aims to provide these customers with access to over 100 million acceptance points globally. Additionally, the collaboration will empower MoMo merchants to seamlessly accept card payments, augmenting the platform’s instant cross-border money remittance services and capabilities.

The partnership leverages Mastercard’s cutting-edge technology to support MTN’s vision of becoming Africa’s largest fintech platform for both merchants and consumers. This collaboration follows a recent agreement for a minority investment into MTN Group Fintech, the digital financial services arm of Africa’s largest mobile network operator.

With MTN’s subscriber base reaching 290 million and 60 million active monthly MoMo wallets, this agreement will impact 13 markets across Africa. These include 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, highlighted the importance of collaboration in their innovation strategy, expressing pride in the partnership with MTN. The focus is on enabling digital commerce for millions in Africa, with mobile money solutions benefiting SMEs through seamless operations, wider payments acceptance, access to affordable credit, and secure digital tools.

Despite Africa being home to over 1.3 billion people, only 43% are banked, and 90% of payments are still made in cash. The collaboration aims to address this gap by bringing more people into the financial mainstream. Over the past five years, Mastercard and MTN have collaborated on various mobile money programs across Africa, facilitating payments through global platforms.

Serigne Dioum, Group CEO, MTN Fintech, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, emphasizing the shared vision of bringing access, progress, financial inclusion, and prosperity to people. The collaboration will focus on developing best-in-class apps, superior user experiences, safe transactions, secure remittances, new use cases, and expanded acceptance.

The partnership introduces a virtual and physical Mastercard companion card for every MoMo wallet, granting users access to over 100 million acceptance locations globally. This international scalability aligns with Mastercard’s commitment to bringing 1 billion people and 50 million SMEs into the global digital economy by 2025.

Furthermore, the collaboration will empower SMEs with payment acceptance solutions, including Mastercard’s SME-in-a-Box. This low-cost payments solution enables small business owners to move their businesses online and accept various digital payments, fostering growth, reducing costs, and enhancing customer experience.

In the realm of remittances, the collaboration expands reach for mobile money remittance services, catering to the growing demand for international remittance services in Africa. Mastercard’s commitment to working with multiple telecommunications network companies aligns with their goal of making financial inclusion a reality.

Overall, this partnership signifies a step towards a cashless digital economy in Africa, providing millions of people and small businesses with secure and accessible digital tools for transactions. Mastercard and MTN’s joint efforts aim to drive financial inclusion, support local infrastructure for digital payments, and unlock opportunities for growth and innovation.

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