New digital platform launches to promote digital payment systems across Africa

Mastercard and Network International, a leading enabler of digital commerce in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region have partnered together to create a new digital platform that aims to accelerate the adoption of digital payments across the MEA region. 

Mastercard and Network International launch digital platform to accelerate digital payment adoption across Middle East and Africa

Gaurang Shah, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Digital Payments & Labs, Middle East, and Africa, Mastercard comments on the positive impact that digital payment solutions can have for small businesses. 

“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.”

The digital payments solution platform

Launching this month, the new platform will be used to assist Network International’s current client base of consumers and merchants to use mobile-based payment solutions.

Paul Clarke, Group Head of Product & Innovation, Network International provides insight into the aims of the new platform.

“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.”

The new platform will enable merchants to use multiple digital payment methods including, USSD, Quick Response (QR code) to the standard POS, and eCommerce through contactless card payments and mobile money. 

The new and innovative digital platform will initially be launched in 40 African countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, and extended across the rest of Middle East and Africa in the coming months.

Working in hand with banks found in the MEA region, merchants will be able to use state-of-the-art and easy-to-use payment solutions offered by payment issuers and banks. The range of services includes virtual cards, digital wallets, and person-to-person payments. 

In addition, the platform lays the foundation for financial institutions to simplify access to a growing range of best-in-class Mastercard products.

Societal impact

The adoption and promotion of digital payments help to facilitate the growth of financial inclusion in the MEA region. 

 With limited card payment infrastructure in some markets, mobile payment solutions are ideal to help offer electronic transactions to more communities, both in-store and online.

Read more: Social Innovation Award finalists to receive share of R12.6-million 
Read more: SA tech startup launches rewards shopping app for locals 

Featured image: Mastercard, (Supplied) 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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