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Mastercard Drive for Economic Development in Africa

The ultimate resource in economic development is people. This is because it is people that have the ability to develop any economy.

Mastercard recently acquired a mobile payments technology company, Oltio from Standard Bank that will further enable the company to complement its digital payment strategy to displace cash in emerging markets across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

This is in recognition of the fact that customers in Middle East and Africa need a secure way to make payment and this will reinforce the digital payment strategy that the company has set about achieving.

Africa most especially, will benefit more from the acquisition of Oltio, which is a start-up that pioneered several payment solutions. In 2014 for example, Oltio was appointed as a service provider to Mastercard to develop and launch the Masterpass digital wallet in South Africa. Masterpass is an interoperable platform by Mastercard that allows bank customers in South Africa use their PINs and mobile phones to authenticate purchases, removing the need for a physical card while providing simplicity, security and convenience to consumers. The platform has seen impressive growth in the region and it is no doubt that such successes can be replicated all over Africa.

With such payment solutions available in Africa, economic development can become something achievable because it cuts away unnecessary parts of the banking and purchase system as seen in developed continents of the world. .

According to Mastercard’s Vice-President of Business Integration, Gabriel Swanepoel, mobile payments are gaining equity among consumers who want to pay for goods and services using their mobile phone wherever they shop, be it online, in an app or at a physical retailer.

They have leveraged on this need using Oltio’s technology, people and infrastructure to enhance and scale digital products.

Businesses in Africa can now leverage on this new method and attract more cutomers for their products and services even beyond Africa.

It thereby allows Mastercard to continue supporting banks in expanding the growth and adoption of digital payments, while ensuring real consumer pain points are addressed, and increasing economic develop in Africa.

With the success in South Africa, other parts of Africa are sure to follow and this will inspire greater development of the economy because of the new levels of employment that will be generated from the initiative, which will invariably feed the economy.

Already, members of the working population and more, all across Africa, can expect to benefit from such innovations because it brings Africa to the limelight and view of such companies.

Africa can then benefit immensely from the initiatives that such organisations will bring to bear.

In a recent news report, it is reported that up to 30 million youth from across Africa are set to benefit from a new Mastercard Foundation initiative, Young Africa Works Strategy, which was recently officially unveiled in Kigali, Rwanda.

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