Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) and MasterCard have signed a deal that will enable consumers use their MasterCard prepaid, debit and credit cards at Ecobank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale (PoS)terminals in 28 African countries in Africa.
The development stemmed from the multi-country licensing agreement signed by MasterCard and Ecobank in January 2014. The deal gives MasterCard cardholders’ access to more than 2,500 ATMs and allows them to pay for goods and services in over 20,000 shops, hotels, restaurants and other outlets across Africa.
MasterCard, in a statement said: “Expanding MasterCard’s acceptance in 28 countries across Ecobank’s network is a significant milestone for us as we work together to accelerate the adoption of electronic payments and create a cashless society in Africa. This partnership has combined MasterCard’s global payment technology with Ecobank’s unrivalled pan-African footprint to give their cardholders more convenient, secure and reliable ways to pay.
It added: “With this partnership, Ecobank subsidiaries now accept MasterCard-branded cards in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.”
Speaking on the partnership, Ecobank’s Group Executive/Head of Domestic Bank, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan said: “This partnership forms part of our broader retail banking strategy of providing Ecobank customers with enhanced service levels, which exceed their expectations. Our unique platform gives our customers easy access to their Ecobank accounts when travelling, be it on business or for pleasure, without the need for carrying cash.
“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. Governments are rapidly driving the conversion from cash to electronic payments as they too realise the benefits of a cashless society, namely increased transparency, cost effectiveness, financial inclusion, foreign investment and economic growth”, he added.
According to him, the increased number of MasterCard acceptance locations in Africa means that more cardholders and merchants would be introduced to the security and convenience of electronic payments, while enjoying protection from the risks and costs associated with cash. “This is especially important in many African countries where cash has been the prevalent or only payment option”, he stressed.
The two organisations said they are also exploring joint business development opportunities across West, Central, East and Southern Africa and will soon add a further four African markets to those already accepting MasterCard-branded cards, namely Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe and South Sudan.