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MasterCard, Ecobank to drive electronic payments adoption

By , IT in government editor
Africa , 17 Jun 2015

MasterCard, Ecobank to drive electronic payments adoption

Pan-African banking group Ecobank has signed a multi-country agreement with global payments technology company, MasterCard, to bring MasterCard’s payment solutions to more than 32 sub-Saharan African markets.

In terms of the agreement of the partnership Ecobank will issue MasterCard debit, prepaid, and credit cards to millions of its customers over the next 10 years.

According to the statement over 1,300 Ecobank subsidiaries will issue MasterCard-branded cards in the following countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The agreement will also see Ecobank roll out thousands of mobile point of sale devices to retailers in selected African countries.

Albert Essien, group chief executive officer of Ecobank said, “This collaboration with MasterCard will enable us to achieve our vision of contributing to the economic and financial integration and development of the African continent by rolling out convenient, accessible and reliable financial products and services to our customers. Specifically, the initiative enables us to extend our MasterCard acquiring capabilities at thousands of merchants across Africa, grow our e-commerce acquiring business, and expand our service offerings to retail and commercial customers in Africa.”

Michael Miebach, president of Middle East and Africa at MasterCard added, “Bringing the benefits of electronic payments to markets across Africa and creating a world beyond cash is a primary focus for MasterCard. By collaborating with a leading pan-African financial institution such as the Ecobank group with its extensive regional reach and established infrastructure, another successful step has been taken in ensuring access to safe, secure and convenient payments via MasterCard payment solutions.”

Ecobank will also introduce the MasterCard Payment Gateway Service in selected countries to enhance online commerce for Ecobank’s small and medium enterprise, commercial and corporate customers. The e-commerce payment technology enables merchants to accept MasterCard or other branded payment cards, extending the security and convenience of electronic payments to these e-tailers and their customers who previously depended on cash, the statement adds.

MasterCard has noted that the partnership is expected to increase the acceptance and adoption of electronic payments in Africa.

“The increased number of MasterCard acceptance locations in Africa means that more consumers and merchants can enjoy the additional protection from the risks and costs associated with cash. This is especially important in Africa, where more than 90% of transactions are still conducted in cash,” said Miebach.

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