• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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UBA, MasterCard announce Pan African partnership to enhance financial inclusion


United Bank Africa (UBA) and MasterCard have announced a partnership that would see UBA act as the issuer for MasterCard in 18 new markets in Africa.

This is contained in a statement issued by both organisations on Tuesday, which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

According to the statement, the partnership would see the bank issue MasterCard credit, debit and prepaid cards, across these markets.

It stated that the partnership would also focus on increased payments infrastructure across Africa, including the roll out of point-of-sale and mobile-point-of-sale technology.

The statement said that the aim was to ensure merchants were able to accept the cards when introduced into these markets.

It said, “The partnership will cut across the 19 African countries in which UBA currently operates.

“The countries are Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana.

“Others are Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.”

 Kennedy Uzoka, the bank’s Group Managing Director-designate, was quoted by the statement as saying that the strategic partnerships would drive financial inclusion.

According to Uzoka, 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 well-being across the African continent,” Uzoka said.

 Daniel Monehin, Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard, was also quoted by the statement as saying that the partnership would enhance cash-less banking in the countries.

“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,” Monehin said.

He explained that MasterCard, on June 27, set a goal to connect 40 million micro and small merchants to its electronic payments network within five years.

Monehin said that to date, financial inclusion had been predominantly centred on providing the underserved and the unbanked with tools and transaction accounts.

He noted that this had remained 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 t to Africa forward,” Monehin added. (NAN)