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MasterCard pushing into Africa through fintechs

By , Africa editor
Africa , 17 Oct 2023
Mark Elliott, Mark division president for Sub-Saharan region, Mastercard.
Mark Elliott, Mark division president for Sub-Saharan region, Mastercard.

MasterCard has set its sights on the expanding African payment ecosystem.

Mark Elliott, division president, Sub-Saharan Africa at MasterCard, says: “Africa presents a vast untapped market for fintech and digital solutions, and MasterCard has developed a comprehensive strategy for leveraging these opportunities and fostering innovation in the region.”

According to the corporation, increased access to mobile technology, the world’s youngest population, a growing middle class, e-commerce trends, the adoption of digital payments, and the advent of fintechs are driving the rapid expansion and change of Africa's payments.

A forecast from Boston Consulting Group and QED Investors predicted that the African fintech sector will reach $65 billion by 2030.

MasterCard claims that on a continent where inclusiveness is crucial for economic progress, fintech firms are important disruptors. The payment processing company already has fintech partnerships in place in 172 countries.

Elliot says: “We recognise the profound impact of fintech services on consumers and SMEs, especially in the context of Africa's financial inclusion objectives.

“While Africa might have unique priorities and challenges to address, it has grown vastly in key areas such as infrastructure, modernisation, and the inclusion of its people into the digital economy.

“In order to advance this progress, businesses need to continue scaling and delivering practical and locally relevant solutions.”

MasterCard's heightened focus on the African market comes on the heels of the acquisition of a minority stake in MTN Group's fintech unit for a cash-and-debt-free enterprise valuation of around $5.2 billion.

MTN, Africa's largest telecom service provider, recently announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with MasterCard, with a complete investment agreement expected in the near future.

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