In January this year, Nigerian bank Ecobank had partnered with MasterCard for payment solutions in 28 sub African countries. Today (21st April, 2014), the bank announced another parthership with the payments giant, for the issuance of debit cards to its customers in Nigeria.
“Electronic payment platforms provide a cost-effective way to improve financial inclusion in Africa, which is at the core of the vision of Ecobank,” said Ecobank Group Executive Director, Patrick Akinwuntan. “In teaming up with MasterCard, we are providing our customers with a “best of breed” solution, combining local market knowledge and proven technological expertise with the economies of scale that derive from access to the leading pan-African payments platform.”
- In 2011, MasterCard had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ecobank Group.
- Through this it became an issuer of MasterCard products in over 1,200 branches across Africa.
- This partnership will enable the bank customer to continue to leverage on the security and convenience of electronic payments as opposed to cash and other forms of transaction.
- Ecobank's customers could now access more than 35.9 Mn MasterCard acceptance points - this encompasses 2.1 Mn ATMs in more than 210 regions.
“We envisage a world beyond cash in Nigeria and Africa, where consumers can enjoy the security, efficiency and convenience of electronic payments. Our vision can only become a reality through collaborations with key industry stakeholders, such as the Ecobank Group,” said Daniel Monehin, Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard.Working together with governments, financial institutions, merchants and businesses, we will be able to help modernize the payment industry in Africa.”
According to Ecobank - the combination of a rapidly expanding middle class and steadily improving financial literacy, supported by robust technology, is increasing the appetite for card usage in Africa, providing opportunities for the advancement of a cashless society across the continent.