Africa: Mastercard moves to empower fintechs in Africa

Mastercard has launched a new programme known as ‘Fintech Express’ aimed at providing tailor-made solutions that boost market entry and expansion for fintechs in Africa and the Middle East.

According to Mastercard, Fintech Express will leverage the power of partnerships and Mastercard’s expertise, technology, and global network to help fintech companies focus on innovation that drives the digital economy.

The programme is designed for all types of fintechs – established companies wanting a direct license from Mastercard, as well as fintech startups with the ambition to innovate through collaborating with ready-to-go Mastercard Engage partners.

From a startup perspective, the program has a feature referred to as “Build” part of the which enables fintechs as processors and enablers to become Express Partners by building unique tech alliances and benefitting from all the advantages that Mastercard provides.

The program also has a “Connect” part which is aimed at fintech startups that are looking to add payment solutions to their suite of products.

According to Mastercard, connect helps fintechs easily connect with qualified Express Partners available on the Mastercard Engage web portal, and go live with Mastercard in a matter of days.

In Africa, fintech startup funding is one of the most active business investments and Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya represent the lion’s share of investment.

The MEA region also currently has over 1,200 fintech players, covering everything from credit to insurance to wealth management offered through a centralized cloud-based platform.

Some of the early players to have joined forces and created alliances under the new Express Partner program across Sub-Saharan Africa are Diamond Trust Bank, DPO Group, Selcom and Tutuka.

Gaurang Shah, senior vice president of digital payments and labs in Middle East and Africa at Mastercard said, “Startups are forming diverse collaborations with traditional financial institutions, and in the process managing to enhance competitiveness.

Shah noted that Mastercard is playing a central role in making fintech partnerships a reality as a single technology provider.

“With today’s announcement we are taking the next step in further empowering them to fulfil their ambitions of scale and speed,” Shah said.

Mastercard Incorporated is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in the Mastercard International Global Headquarters in Purchase, New York, United States.

Throughout the world, its principal business is to process payments between the banks of merchants and the card-issuing banks or credit unions of the purchasers who use the “Mastercard” brand debit, credit and prepaid cards to make purchases.

SOURCE: Africa Inc. magazine

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