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FinTech

Mastercard and Network International launch digital payment platform for MEA

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA – Mastercard, a technology leader in the global payments industry, and its strategic partner, Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, have collaborated to launch a new digital platform which will accelerate the adoption of digital payments across the Middle East and Africa.

With this new digital platform launching in January, Network International will help its clients to enable mobile-based payments for their consumers and merchants across various channels.

Merchants will now have one simple-to-use technology interface through which they will be able to accept multiple payment types, ranging from USSD, Quick Response (QR) to Standard POS and e-commerce, with mobile money and Tap on Phone (technology which allows merchants to accept contactless card payments directly on their smartphone or tablet) coming online later in 2021.

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

Payment issuers and banks will be able to offer their consumers state-of-the-art and easy-to-use payment solutions including Digital Wallets, Person-to-Person (P2P) Payments and Virtual cards. Additionally, the platform lays the foundation for financial institutions to simplify access to a growing range of best-in-class Mastercard products.

Across the Middle East and Africa, governments and NGOs are publicly supporting a move to digital payments and less reliance on cash to secure the financial inclusion of more people. 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.

"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," said Gaurang Shah, senior VP for product management, digital payments and labs for Middle East and Africa at Mastercard.

"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," added Paul Clarke, group head of product and innovation at Network International.

"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 companies have a long-standing partnership, including Mastercard’s strategic investment in Network International and a shared commitment to develop innovative payment solutions that will grow electronic transactions across the MEA region.

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