Airtel announces partnership with Mastercard on digital payment
Airtel Africa said users of its mobile money service will also be able to make in-person payments at outlets via Mastercard’s Quick Response (QR) codes.
Airtel Africa, today, announced a partnership with Mastercard to promote mobile payment in Africa. The partnership will enable over 100 million Airtel Africa’s mobile phone users across 14 African countries to make payments on Mastercard’s global network.
The Mastercard virtual (non-plastic) card will allow Airtel Money customers, even those without a bank account, to make payments to local and global online merchants that accept Mastercard cards. A statement released by Airtel Africa to announce the partnership said Mastercard ensures that the customer’s financial data is always secure and private.
Airtel Africa said users of its mobile money service will also be able to make in-person payments at outlets via Mastercard’s Quick Response (QR) codes, which will allow payments to be made from an Airtel mobile phone by scanning the QR code displayed at checkout or by entering a merchant identifier, at any location worldwide that Mastercard QR is accepted. To date, there are over 1 million merchant locations across Africa that accept Mastercard QR payments.
Airtel Africa also said that its mobile money customers will benefit from competitive pricing and preferential exchange rates for international payments, and gain access to other domestically relevant uses, including bill payments, merchant payments and value-added services such as cash management solutions.
“Airtel and Mastercard have a shared passion for digital transformation and making mobile financial services accessible to everyone across the continent,” said Raghunath Mandava, the CEO of Airtel Africa. “Through our partnership, we will enable over 100 million Airtel Africa customers make safe mobile money purchases online and in person.”
He said the partnership will also significantly bolster Airtel’s position as one of the largest offline-to-online digital payment networks in Africa.
Mobile internet connections are expected to grow rapidly in Africa due to low cost smartphones and high-speed GSM networks being rolled out by Mobile Network Operators like Airtel and South Africa’s MTN. This growth in internet connections is creating increased demand for digital content, social media, m-commerce, online education and a need to make online payments easily and securely by both banked and unbanked consumers.
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