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Mastercard has acquired mobile payments tech firm Oltio to expand its digital services in Middle East & Africa, through Oltio’s advanced security and authenticated payment solutions.

Oltio, which has patented several mobile payment solutions, will Masterpass users to authenticate their digital wallet purchases in South Africa through using their bank PIN and mobile phone. It will also enhance Mastercard’s digital services for merchants and issuers in cash-orientated and emerging markets.

Integration into the Masterpass and other banking apps allow the tech to be applied in person-to-person payments, bill payments, and airtime top-ups. Mastercard said it would collaborate in allowing merchants to use other digital alternatives like QR code payments.

Read more: Mastercard ditching signatures for frictionless checkouts

“Too many consumers and merchants in the MEA region are stuck in a cash economy that doesn’t work for them,” commented Mark Elliot, president, South Africa, Mastercard. “By combining our joint expertise, technologies and reach, we can bridge the divide between the region’s cash economies and the digital future, bringing the benefits of digital payments to more people and businesses.”

“We have had a great relationship with Mastercard over the years, and believe that Oltio will thrive as part of an issuer-independent payments company with Mastercard’s vast global resources and innovative technology,” added Andrew Wilmot, Standard Bank group card and emerging payments.

Related: Mastercard extends deal with CYBG

by Henry Vilar
Henry is Junior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: henryv@ibsintelligence.com