Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

FinTech

Airtel Africa & Mastercard Partner to Connect 100M Africans With Virtual Card

NAIROBI -- Airtel Africa has announced a partnership with Mastercard, giving over 100 million Airtel Africa mobile phone users across 14 African countries access to Mastercard's global network.

The Mastercard virtual (non-plastic) card allows Airtel Money customers, even those without a bank account, to make payments to local and global online merchants that accept Mastercard cards, while ensuring that the customer's financial data is always secure and private.

In addition, Airtel Money customers will also be able to make in person payments at outlets via Quick Response (QR) codes (whereby payments are made from an Airtel mobile phone by scanning the QR code displayed at checkout or by entering a merchant identifier, at any location worldwide that Mastercard QR is accepted).

To date, there are over 1 million merchant locations across Africa that accept Mastercard QR payments.

Airtel Money customers will also benefit from competitive pricing and preferential exchange rates for international payments, and gain access to other domestically relevant use cases including bill payments, merchant payments and value-added services such as cash management solutions.

Raghunath Mandava, the CEO of Airtel Africa said: "Airtel and Mastercard have a shared passion for digital transformation and making mobile financial services accessible to everyone across the continent. Through our partnership we will enable over 100 million Airtel Africa customers make safe mobile money purchases online and in person. The partnership will also significantly bolster Airtel’s position as one of the largest offline-to-online digital payment network in Africa. We are really excited to embark on this partnership with a globally trusted brand like Mastercard. This partnership is truly revolutionary in our market, giving millions of people better access to the digital and online world."

"Across the MEA region our digital partnerships strategy remains focused on enabling digital transformation for our partners so that their consumers can enjoy seamless access to payments and a superior experience. We are very excited to partner with Airtel to lead the transition to digital by enabling access to their millions of consumers for online and in-person payments across the globe. Mastercard is uniquely positioned as a single technology provider to enable our digital partners like Airtel to transition seamlessly into digital," said Amnah Ajmal, executive vice president for market development for Mastercard Middle East and Africa.

Mobile internet connections are expected to grow rapidly in Africa due to low cost smartphones and high-speed GSM networks being rolled out by Mobile Network Operators like Airtel. This growth in internet connections is creating increased demand for digital content, social media, m-commerce even online education and a need to make online payments easily and securely by both banked and unbanked consumers.

Airtel Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Hot startup of the month: Kenya's Wowzi

Kenya's Wowzi is an online marketplace for social media users and influencers to connect with big brands and make money by amplifying their messages or products.

Story

World Mobile brings Wi-Fi hotspots to Zanzibar

Blockchain operator World Mobile is partnering with the Zanzibar eGovernment Agency to launch free Wi-Fi hotspots at public facing government institutions.

More Innovation hub

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: December 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This is the December 2021 edition of the Middle East and Africa News Digest series from Omida, which provides analysis of major trends and events in the region.

Story

Research Bites: Why ICT public access centers are struggling

By Cecilia Frans and Shaun Pather

This article – in produced in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development – explores the reasons why African ICT public access centers are not finding success.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Archived webinars

Meeting SME’s where they are - Building inclusive ecosystems for Africa’s small business owners

Micro and small businesses have been, and still are, the spine and lifeblood of the African economy, making up 90% of businesses on the continent.

Many of these businesses have still been operating in traditional ways and serving non-digital customers. With Covid-19 expediting the digital transformation process, businesses - big and small - have been forced to adapt to operate successfully in a more digital-first environment.

To ensure that the digitalization of Africa’s market doesn’t leave micro and small businesses behind, digital solutions must be inclusive and create business-ready environments. But how can we ensure that African SMEs become digitally enabled?

In this webinar we will share from our own experience on how to create such an environment, and the actions we took in vcita to get there, including:

  • Closing the digital literacy gap through tech inclusion 
  • Making a positive impact on local communities
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world

Register Here >>

More Webinars

Flash poll

All polls

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up