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Mastercard forms strategic partnership with MTN to advance digital financial inclusion in Africa

By Pavithra R

February 17, 2021

  • Africa
  • Mastercard
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Mastercard has announced a strategic partnership with MTN to enable consumers in 16 countries across Africa to make global e-commerce payments safely and securely.

Under the partnership, Mastercard will link its virtual payment solution to MTN MoMo (Mobile Money) wallets so that consumers and merchants can engage with brands and businesses abroad through digital commerce, extending their reach to an international marketplace and unlock new host of opportunities.

Across Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile devices are the primary channel leveraged to connect to the internet. Mobile financial services are the dominant form of digital payments, with twice as many mobile money accounts as bank accounts in the region. As a result, consumers expect to have access to a broader range of digital financial services.

“We are very excited about this partnership with Mastercard, which is another step in realizing our ambition to build Africa’s largest fintech platform, accelerating economic and social development through digital innovation to the benefit of citizens across the continent and beyond,” said MTN Group Chief Digital and FinTech Officer Serigne Dioum.

“This noteworthy partnership is another step to enable our customers to participate in the global economy. We are resolute that accelerated financial inclusion is a potent enabler of socio-economic development that empowers the most vulnerable in society,” concluded Serigne Dioum.

Through this strategic collaboration, MTN customers with a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their MoMo wallets can make seamless payments to global online merchants through a secure digital payment experience on websites and mobile applications. The service is available irrespective of whether or not the customer has a bank account. 

The solution will enable consumers to shop at well-known global e-commerce brands and pay securely. It will also allow SMB owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and pay with the virtual payment solution.

“This significant milestone will enable millions of MTN customers to benefit from global digital commerce and drive digital and financial inclusion across Africa through easy and secure access to financial services.

At Mastercard, our innovation strategy is based on partnerships and collaboration. This agreement with MTN shows that we can deliver innovative digital solutions that have a far-reaching impact and realize the true potential of inclusive growth across the continent. Partnering with MTN allows us to accelerate our global pledge to connect 1 billion people to the digital economy by 2025, bringing us closer to a world beyond cash,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa.

Both MTN and Mastercard have been working together and launched its digital payment solution for MoMo customers in 2018. MTN is planning to expand its virtual payment solution offering throughout its FinTech footprint. The expansion is expected to play a significant role in driving the growth of digital inclusion and ecommerce, thus increasing MTN MoMo customer inclusion into the global economy.

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