United Bank Africa (UBA) has launched its first merchant app in Nigeria and the rest of Africa that will connect 100,000 micro merchants to formal economy by early 2017.

The launch follows the Pan African commitment made by UBA and MasterCard in July 2016 to introduce safer and more convenient ways to pay for goods and services in Nigeria and across the continent.

Nigeria has been selected as the first market to go live with the merchant app because of the country’s eagerness to adopt smart tech solutions.

UBA’s group head, consumer and digital banking, Dr. Yinka Adedeji, said at the unveiling of the product in Lagos that the Masterpass QR was being introduced across all UBA’s subsidiaries in the rest of Africa.

He explained that the merchant-focused app in Africa was introduced with the aim of creating a SMART-secure, mobile, accessible, reliable, transparent- network of 100,000 micro merchants and driving financial inclusion.

He said the merchant app will include Masterpass QR, a mobile payment solution powered by MasterCard, and is immediately available for download to any feature or smart phone in the country.

“Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contribute significantly to the economy but remain heavily dependent on cash to run their business. However, consumers are demanding safer and more convenient ways to pay.

“Access to mobile technology is presenting an opportunity to meet this demand, and the new UBA Masterpass QR Merchant App is set to change the payment landscape to the benefit of micro merchants across the country.

“As a group, we are committed to driving financial inclusion and empowering businesses across Africa. Our partnership with MasterCard enables us to deploy safe digital solutions for customers, and the UBA Masterpass QR Merchant App is just such a solution,” said Adedeji.

He added that the bank would be working with other MasterCard partners that are experts in their respective fields thereby further supporting the local industry.