, NAIROBI, Kenya, 16 Jun – Ecobank has signed an agreement with MasterCard to take e-payment solutions to more than 32 sub-Saharan markets, thus tapping into the largely untapped cashless system on the continent.
Countries where the MasterCard branded cards will be issued include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic (CAR), and Equatorial Guinea among others.
The agreement, which is in a bid to increase the acceptance and adoption of electronic payments, will see MasterCard issue debit, pre-paid and credit cards to millions of customers on the continent over the next 10 years.
Cardholders will be able to access many services which include accessing their cash from millions of ATMs across the continent and worldwide, while they shall also be able to pay for products and services from more than two hundred countries where MasterCard is accepted.
At the same time, Ecobank will roll out innovative MasterCard acceptance solutions that are made to expand the number of merchant locations that accept MasterCard payment cads in Africa.
According to Ecobank’s Group Chief Executive Officer Albert Essien, the collaboration will enable the bank achieve its vision of contributing to the economic and financial integration and development of Africa by proving convenient, accessible and reliable financial products and services to its clients.
“The initiative enables us to extend our MasterCard acquiring capabilities at thousands of merchants across Africa, grow our e-commerce acquiring business, and expand our service offerings to retail and commercial customers in Africa,” Essien said.
MasterCard’s Middle East and Africa President Michael Miebach applauded the agreement and said that by collaborating with Ecobank, which is the largest bank by geographical reach across the continent, safe, secure and convenient payments were being made possible.
Other services to be launched include the roll out of thousands of mobile point of sale devices to retailers in selected countries in Africa to allow merchants to process MasterCard payments.
Further, Ecobank will also introduce MasterCard Payment Gateway service in selected countries to enhance online commerce for small and medium enterprise, commercial and corporate customers.
“The increased number of MasterCard acceptance locations in Africa means that more consumers and merchants can enjoy the additional protection from the risks and costs associated with cash. This is especially important in Africa, where more than 90 percent of transactions are still conducted in cash,” said Miebach.