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Mastercard & Network International launch new digital platform to drive digital payment adoption across Middle East and Africa

By Pavithra R

January 21, 2021

  • Africa
  • Mastercard
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Mastercard and its strategic partner, Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region has announced the launch of a new digital platform that will accelerate the adoption of digital payments across the Middle East and Africa.

Through the launch, Network International will help its clients to enable mobile-based payments for their consumers and merchants across various channels. Merchants will now have a simple-to-use technology interface through which they can accept multiple payment types, ranging from USSD, Quick Response (QR) to Standard POS and e-commerce, with mobile money and Tap on Phone (coming online later in 2021).

Across the Middle East and Africa, governments and NGOs are supporting a shift to digital payments and less reliance on cash to secure the financial inclusion of more people. With limited card payment infrastructure in certain markets, mobile payment solutions are considered ideal for offering electronic transactions to more communities, both in-store and online.

“Accelerated adoption of digital payments means more consumers and businesses are enabled to benefit from a growing digital economy and a world beyond cash. Mastercard’s trusted, secure technology will be available to more people through this digital platform and we are very proud to activate this important initiative with Network International as our long-term strategic partner,” said Gaurang Shah, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Digital Payments & Labs, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.

Initially, the solution is to be launched across 40 African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa and extended across the rest of the Middle East and Africa in the coming months.

Payment issuers and banks will be able to offer their consumers state-of-the-art and easy-to-use payment solutions, including Digital Wallets, Person-to-Person (P2P) Payments and Virtual cards. Additionally, the platform lays the foundation for financial institutions to simplify access to a growing range of Mastercard products.

“Our partnership with Mastercard is focused on rapidly growing electronic payment usage across our region, and this initiative is a major foundational step in meeting that goal. We believe the launch of this platform is the first in a series of steps towards delivering simplified, collaborative payment solutions across the payments value chain in the Middle East and Africa. We have plans to grow the platforms’ capabilities so that we can help our joint customers, large and small, accelerate the move from cash to digital solutions,” said Paul Clarke, Group Head of Product & Innovation, Network International.

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. It’s Cyber & Intelligence team has been working with SMBs, and the Trust Center is the culmination of such work and partnerships. The firm is committed to building a more inclusive digital economy that works for everyone. As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm has pledged $250 mn in financial, technology, product, and insights support over the next five years to SMBs worldwide, supporting the financial security and vitality of businesses and their workers.

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