Global card network, MasterCard and United Bank for Africa(UBA) have announced a multi-country licensing agreement that will see UBA issueMasterCard prepaid, debit and credit cards in 14 countries, namely Cameroon,Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea (Conakry), Kenya,Liberia, Mozambique, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Sierra Leone, Tanzania,Uganda and Zambia.
Through the partnership, the majority of United Bank forAfrica’s subsidiaries across sub-Saharan Africa will gain access to MasterCardpayment solutions and in turn MasterCard will leverage UBA’s fast growingfootprint region across Africa.
Commenting on the news, Daniel Monehin, DivisionPresident, sub-Saharan Africa atMasterCard said, “MasterCard’s commitment to Africa means that we continue towork with various partners in the financial services sector to continuallydevelop products that help consumers make the shift from the use of cash, tothe adoption of electronic payments, which hold numerous benefits for them. Weare proud to partner UBA, whose growing footprint in sub-Saharan Africa, alsomeans that the financially underserved will be brought into the financialservices fold owing to the development of diverse and relevant products andservices.”
When companies are looking at regions for overseasinvestment, Africa generally comes in last in terms of overall attractiveness.On the surface, it is easy to understand the payments industry’s reluctance toinvest heavily in Africa. But Africa is a continent filled with potential fore-payments and within the next three to five years, the global paymentsindustry will increasingly look to Africa as a major source of future sustainede-payment growth and as a result, the licensing agreement between MasterCardand United Bank for Africa (UBA) is a major bonus for both parties.
For more information on the African continent in terms ofelectronic payments, see Mercator Advisory Group’s Research Report, African Payments Markets, 2014 http://www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com/Reports/African-Payments-Markets_-2014/) ( released in July 2014.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, International Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group
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