Ecobank, MasterCard Seal Deal on Financial Inclusion
MasterCard Worldwide Wednesday sealed a landmark deal with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), which will see 60 per cent of Africa’s population have access to financial services.
Specifically, the global payment solution company signed a multi-country licensing agreement with ETI which would provide access to MasterCard’s payment solution for Ecobank’s customers in 23 African countries.
The agreement was the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was initially signed in November 2011.
Under the terms of the 2011 MoU, MasterCard would partner Ecobank to explore joint business development opportunities across Central, East, West and Southern Africa where Ecobank has presence. On the other hand, Ecobank will become an issuer and acquirer of MasterCard products in more than 1,200 branches across Africa, giving the banking group’s customers access to over 35.9 million acceptance points – including 2.1 million ATMs – in over 210 countries and territories worldwide where MasterCard cards are accepted.
With this agreement, Ecobank subsidiaries in 28 countries across sub-Saharan Africa are now licensed to issue and accept MasterCard prepaid debit and credit cards. And it is expected that through this partnership, Ecobank’s customers in this fast growing region will have access to MasterCard’s credit, debit and prepaid card products. In turn, MasterCard will leverage Ecobank’s pan-African footprint to provide its electronic payment solutions to a wider customer base.
Commenting on the deal, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank, Thierry Tanoh noted: “This agreement demonstrates Ecobank’s vision which is to provide our customers with convenient, accessible and reliable financial products and services as part of our commitment to build a world-class pan-African bank and contribute to the economic development and financial integration of Africa.”
Also, the Ecobank Group Executive Director, Domestic Banking, Patrick Akinwuntan said: “The provision of convenient, reliable and accessible financial products and services forms the bedrock of Ecobank’s Pan African strategy.
“We also recognise that partnerships with leading global players such as MasterCard are key to accelerating the migration of our customers to a ‘cashless society’ throughout Africa,” he added.
On his part, the Division President, Sub-saharan Africa, MasterCard, Daniel Monehin enthused: “We are proud to partner Ecobank, which is quickly growing its presence in Africa. “This is the largest multi-country licensing project completed by MasterCard in Africa and as such is a great milestone for us, as we aim to achieve our vision of a world beyond cash by bringing the benefits of electronic payments to an increased customer base in Sub-Saharan Africa.”