UBA partners MasterCard to play in 18 new African markets
United Bank of Africa (UBA) and MasterCard have entered into a partnership which will position UBA to act as issuer for MasterCard in 18 new markets in Africa.
With the partnership, according to the two companies. UBA will be issuing MasterCard credit, debit and prepaid cards across these markets.
The partnership which came into effect in the second quarter of this year, will focus on increased payments infrastructure across Africa, including the roll out of point-of-sale and mobile-point-of-sale technology, to ensure merchants are able to accept the cards when introduced into these markets.
Commenting on the partnership, the Managing Director-Designate, UBA Plc. Kennedy Uzoka stated that the lender was adopting innovations in order to meet the demand of its customers, “As the needs of our customers change, we are adapting through strategic innovations and partnerships to provide them with excellent and convenient services. Through these strategic partnerships, we are able to accelerate the drive for financial inclusion and economic wellbeing across the African continent.”
Also the Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard, Daniel Monehin stated: “This focus on infrastructure and the roll out of easy-to-access solutions is a key part of driving financial inclusion and a move away from cash in these markets. MasterCard’s continued innovation in the payments space coupled with UBA’s extensive pan-African network will mean the introduction of increased competition and a stronger financial sector in these regions.”
On June 27, 2016, Mastercard set a goal to connect 40 million micro and small merchants to its electronic payments network within five years. This expands on the company’s Universal Financial Access 2020 commitment made last year.
To date, financial inclusion has been predominantly centered on providing the underserved and the unbanked with tools and transaction accounts. This remains a critical need with two billion unbanked people, the majority of whom are women, forced to operate in a cash economy. In order for financial inclusion efforts to truly have an impact, there needs to be an equal focus on both access and usage.
“Collaborating with UBA has allowed for maximum impact when it comes to changing lives and introducing smarter ways for people to pay in Africa. Creating financially inclusive societies is dependent on these kinds of partnerships and we will continue to look for ways to partner in Africa going forward,” Monehin said.
Mastercard and UBA are partnering across the 19 African countries in which UBA currently operates: Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.