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MTN Group, Mastercard sign agreement to boost mobile money in Africa

MTN Group and Mastercard have 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.

With MTN’s overall subscriber base at 290 million and 60 million active monthly MoMo (Mobile Money) wallets, the agreement 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.

The company disclosed this in a statement released on Thursday.  According to the statement, the partnership will use Mastercard’s cutting-edge technology and capabilities to support MTN’s ambition to become Africa’s largest fintech platform for both merchants and consumers.

This development 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.

Benefits for MoMo wallet users

Under the agreement, 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 to increase customer loyalty and trust.

The agreement will also 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.

Mastercard and MTN comments

Commenting on the agreement by both companies, Executive Vice President, Market Development EEMEA, Mastercard, Amnah Ajmal, said:

  • “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.”

The Group CEO of MTN Fintech, Serigne Dioum, noted that the partnership would enable more individuals and businesses in Africa to experience secure digital payments.

  • “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 the collaboration into best-in-class apps, superior user experiences, safe transactions, secure remittances, new use cases, and expanded acceptance,” he said.

Africa is home to over 1.3 billion people and only about 43% are banked with over 90% of all payments and transactions made via cash. And of the total population, 45% have mobile money accounts.

Over the past five years, Mastercard and MTN have joined together to support several mobile money programs across Africa, helping people to make payments through global platforms, thus bringing more people into the financial mainstream.




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