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MTN, Mastercard Partner to Accelerate Mobile Money Payment Across 13 Markets


Mastercard and MTN Group Fintech have signed an agreement to provide all MTN MoMo customers with payment cards.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the companies said a virtual and physical Mastercard companion card would be added to every MoMo wallet, allowing users access to over 100 million acceptance locations globally.

“The partnership will use Mastercard’s cutting-edge technology and capabilities to support MTN’ ‘s ambition to become Africa’s largest fintech platform for both merchants and consumers,” the companies said.

“This follows Mastercard and MTN’s recent agreement for a minority investment into MTN Group Fintech — the digital financial services arm of Africa’s largest mobile network operator – that concluded this month.”

The cards will be offered to all of the 60 million active monthly MoMo wallets in the 13 countries where the mobile money service is available, namely South Africa, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Republic of Guinea, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.

The companies said the agreement would help connect millions of people and small businesses across Africa with digital tools to transact through secure mobile payments, expanding access to the benefits of the cashless digital economy.

“Africa is home to over 1.3 billion people, and only about 43% are banked, with over 90% of all payments and transactions made via cash,” the companies said.

“Of the total population, 45% have mobile money accounts.”

“The collaboration will help strengthen local infrastructure for digital payments, support potential expansion of transactions in the future and drive financial inclusion through access to assets,” they stated.

In addition to enabling MoMo users to transact at regular payment terminals, it will allow MoMo merchants to accept card payments.

Mastercard EMEA market development vice president Amnah Ajmal said the company was proud of the partnership enabling digital commerce for millions of people in Africa.

In addition, mobile money solutions can greatly benefit SMEs, enabling growth through seamless commercial operations, wider payment acceptance, access to affordable credit, and secure digital tools, Ajmal said.

The companies explained that SME owners will now be able to access solutions with the opportunity to set up an e-commerce shopfront, including QR enablement, Tap-on-Phone solutions and digital card acceptance.

“The agreement will enable SMEs with payments acceptance solutions such as Mastercard’s SME-in-a-Box, a low-cost payments solution that enables small business owners to move their businesses online and accept a range of digital payments from their customers,” they said.

MTN Group Fintech CEO Serigne Dioum said the collaboration would offer MoMo customers best-in-class apps, superior user experiences, safe transactions, secure remittances, new use cases, and expanded acceptance.

Mastercard will also be able to provide its cybersecurity solutions to MTN’s operations, helping to increase customer loyalty and trust.

In addition, the partnership will expand the reach of mobile money remittance services – both inward and cross-border remittances in Africa.

“The demand for international remittance services is growing with more than US$2 billion in daily processed transactions, equivalent to more than 40% of the GDP of Sub-Saharan Africa,” Mastercard and MTN said.

“International remittances via mobile money wallets grew by 65% year-over-year in 2020 to around US$1 billion, with no signs of slowing.”

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