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VENTURES AFRICA- Pan-African financial institution, Ecobank Transnational Inc. has signed an agreement with global electronic payment company, MasterCard to fast-track electronic payment adoption in 28 sub-Saharan African countries where it operates.
The multi-country licensing partnership which will benefit more than 60 percent of Africa’s population is said to be MasterCard’s largest multi-country licensing deal 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,” Daniel Monehin, Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard said.
“We expect that the 28 newly licensed Ecobank subsidiaries will begin to accept MasterCard credit, debit and prepaid cards at their ATMs and Points of Sale from early 2014, as we work with the Ecobank Group to complete licensing of the remaining Ecobank subsidiaries,” he added.
Ecobank’s deal with MasterCard comes on the heels of a November, 2011 agreement which provides for both companies to explore joint business development opportunities across Central, East, West and Southern Africa where the pan-African bank operates.
The contract will enable Ecobank’s customers to have more access to MasterCard’s credit, debit and prepaid card products, while MasterCard will leverage Ecobank’s unrivalled pan-African footprint to provide its electronic payments solutions to a wider customer base, a communiqué released by the bank read.
According to Ecobank’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Thierry Tanoh, the deal demonstrates the banks “vision” for its customers across Africa.
“[Ecobank] recognize that partnerships with leading global players such as MasterCard are key to accelerating the migration of our customers to a ‘cashless society’ throughout Africa,” Ecobank’s Group Executive Director (Domestic Banking), Patrick Akinwuntan added.