The United Bank of Africa UBA has become the card issuer for MasterCard in 18 markets in Africa, which enables the bank to issue MasterCard credit, debit and prepaid cards across these markets.
The partnership will also focus on increased payments infrastructure across Africa, including the roll out of point-of-sale and mobile-point-of-sale technology, to ensure merchants are able to accept the cards when introduced into these markets.
The collaboration which cuts across the 19 African countries in which UBA currently operates include Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote D Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
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 wellbeing across the African continent said Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director-Designate, UBA plc.
Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard, Daniel Monehin says; 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 continued innovation in the payments space coupled with UBA extensive pan-African network will mean the introduction of increased competition and a stronger financial sector in these regions.
It will be recalled that there are approximately 2.5 billion people who are financially excluded. To date, financial inclusion has been predominantly centred on providing the underserved and the unbanked with tools and transaction accounts. This remains 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 in Africa going forward, Monehin said.