Mastercard is working with Network International to develop a new platform to help speed the adoption of digital payments across Africa and the Middle East.
The pair plan to launch the platform in January. It will enable Network International customers to accept multiple payment types through one technology interface, the companies said in a press release.
Initially, merchants will have access to standard POS and ecommerce solutions, as well as USSD – a mobile phone-based technology – and QR codes, with other capabilities including Tap on Phone arriving later this year.
The partners plan to launch the new platform in 40 African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa, expanding across the region in the coming months.
“Accelerated adoption of digital payments means more consumers and businesses are enabled to benefit from a growing digital economy and a world beyond cash. Mastercard’s trusted, secure technology will be available to more people through this digital platform and we are very proud to activate this important initiative with Network International as our long-term strategic partner,” Gaurang Shah, senior vice president, Product Management, Digital Payments & Labs, Middle East and Africa for Mastercard, said.
“Our partnership with Mastercard is focused on rapidly growing electronic payment usage across our region and this initiative is a major foundational step in meeting that goal,” Paul Clarke, Group Head of Product & Innovation, Network International, said.
“We believe the launch of this platform is the first in a series of steps towards delivering simplified, collaborative payment solutions across the payments value chain in the Middle East and Africa. We have plans to grow the platforms’ capabilities so that we can help our joint customers, large and small, accelerate the move from cash to digital solutions.”
The two companies have a history of working together: Mastercard also announced an investment in Network International in November.