Mediterranean Smart Cards Company (MSCC), a subsidiary of the Emerging Markets Payments Holdings (EMPH), announced today the launch of its upgraded West African regional office and processing facility in Lagos, Nigeria.
The facility now serves as a hub and a processing centre for the entire West African region.
MSCC is a leading provider of outsourced card management services to banks, retailers and governments across Africa. Operating in the African market since 2001, MSCC currently serves 105 banks across 35 countries and supports all card associations and all electronic distribution channels. MSCC is a part of the EMP Group, which also owns EMP Middle East, the leading merchant acquirer and the national ATM switch operator in Jordan, as well as ACET Processing in South Africa, which provides card management services to retail and consumer finance companies in Southern Africa.
"MSCC has seen significant growth in the African market over the past few years," said Hoda Shoukry, MSCC CEO. "The Governments of African nations, particularly Nigeria and Ghana, are focused on transitioning from cash-oriented to cashless economies. In Nigeria, for instance, the Government and Central Bank have established a national switch and are discouraging large cash deposits and withdrawals. The Ghanaian Government has also been pro-active in promoting the benefits of a cashless economy."
MSCC has upgraded its office in Lagos into a fully-fledged regional office to better serve its 50 client banks across West Africa. MSCC has also invested in a local processing centre and payments hub in Lagos in order to better handle the fast growth in electronic payments traffic in the region. The office will be headed by Nasser Azab, a senior executive from MSCC's Cairo office.
EMP expects the electronic payments industry in Africa and the Middle East to see dramatic growth in the coming years, similar to the growth in penetration of mobile phones over the last decade" says Paul Edwards, Executive Chairman of the EMP Holdings.
He continued: "Today less than 20% of Africans have a bank account but this is expected to exceed 50% within 5 to 10 years. Key to this is the depployment of infrastructure, such as ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminals. In Nigeria the Cashless Lagos programme, initiated by the Central Bank, has seen over 4,000 POS machines deployed in the past year together with a significant number of ATM machines. Our Lagos centre is key to providing the infrastructure to support this bold and far-sighted move to promote electronic banking".
"The EMP Group is proud to be at the forefront of the electronic banking revolution, which will be transformative for African and Middle Eastern countries and their economies," said Edwards.