Mastercard and MTN Group are entering into a strategic partnership around virtual payments. As part of the partnership customers of MTN in 16 countries across Africa will be able to shop on e-commerce platforms using a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their MTN MoMo wallet.
The two companies have said that the solution will be available to both consumers and merchants with a primary focus on enabling them to engage with international brands and businesses.
“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. 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,” said Serigne Dioum, Chief Digital and Fintech Officer at MTN Group.
Financial inclusion for African consumers
As can be expected nowadays when any organization anywhere in Africa announces anything related to fintech, the two companies have said that their partnership "underpins a new wave of financial inclusion through mobile devices," and in this case, they could be right.
This is because there's an element of empowering consumers that is involved in the solution being offered through the Mastercard and MTN partnership.
Previously unbanked consumers will not only have access to a mobile money solution but one that enables them to access services and products internationally like anyone who would have a credit card. Typically, with some exceptions, mobile money solutions are focused on enabling local commerce within the borders of a specific country. This is also something that MTN and Mastercard are aware.
"Consumers and merchants are mostly restricted to a local base of online and offline businesses, therefore curtailing customers’ ability to engage in global commerce. Through this strategic partnership, MTN customers with a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their MoMo wallets can make payments to global online merchants through a seamless and secure digital payment experience on websites and mobile applications. The service is available regardless of whether or not the customer has a bank account," reads a statement by MTN Group announcing the partnership.
The MoMo wallet solution by MTN and Mastercard will enable African consumers to explore and shop at well-known global e-commerce brands and pay and securely for leisure shopping, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services, and more. It will also allow small business owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and pay with the virtual payment solution.
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