(Alliance News) – Africa-focused telecommunications firm Airtel Africa PLC said Tuesday it has partnered with US payment services firm Mastercard Inc to supply 14 African countries access to Mastercard’s network.
The agreement allows Airtel’s mobile money service customers to make payments to local and global online merchants who accept Mastercard.
Airtel noted that even those without bank accounts can still make online payments with their new Mastercard virtual card.
“Mastercard’s enabling infrastructure and proposition will enable a superior digital experience which Africa consumers are aspiring to and by so doing ultimately drive greater adoption and usage for the Airtel Money customers,” Airtel said.
Airtel customers will also be able to make in-person payments using “quick response codes”, better known as QR codes.
Airtel mobile phones will be able to scan their QR codes at any location worldwide that Mastercard QR is accepted. In Africa, there are over 1 million merchant locations that accept Mastercard QR payments.
“Airtel Money customers will also benefit from competitive pricing and preferential exchange rates for international payments, and gain access to other domestically relevant use cases including bill payments, merchants payments and value added services such as cash management solutions,” the company added.
Airtel Chief Executive Raghunath Mandava said: “Airtel and Mastercard have a shared passion for digital transformation and making mobile financial services accessible to everyone across the continent. Through our partnership we will enable over 100 million Airtel Africa customers make safe mobile money purchases online and in person.
“The partnership will also significantly bolster Airtel’s position as one of the the largest offline-to-online digital payment network in Africa. We are really excited to embark on this partnership with a globally trusted brand like Mastercard. This partnership is truly revolutionary in our market, giving millions of people better access to the digital and online world.”
Shares in Airtel Africa were 2.2% lower in London on Tuesday at 50.50 pence each. Mastercard closed 0.7% lower in New York on Monday at USD272.19. In pre-market trading on Tuesday morning, Mastercard slipped a further 0.1% to USD272.00.
By Paul McGowan; firstname.lastname@example.org
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