Airtel Africa partners with Mastercard to transform digital payments landscape

5532390715 c89a7e39e8 cAirtel Africa has announced a partnership with Mastercard, giving more than 100mn 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 more than one million merchant locations across Africa that accept Mastercard QR payments.

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. The partnership will also significantly bolster Airtel’s position as one of the largest offline-to-online digital payment network in Africa.”

Amnah Ajmal, executive vice-president for Market Development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa, said, “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.”

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.

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