Mastercard and MTN today announced a strategic partnership to enable millions of MTN MoMo customers in 16 African countries to shop and pay online with global merchants.
Through a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to MTN MoMo (Mobile Money) wallets, consumers can now unlock a host of opportunities and shop from their favorite international brands online while in their home countries or travelling abroad.
The announcement comes at a time when e-commerce and online shopping are reaching record levels across Africa. According to the Economy 2021 outlook conducted by the Mastercard Economics Institute, 20-30% of the COVID-19-related surge in e-commerce will remain a permanent feature of overall retail spending.
And shopping through mobile is largely how consumers access these opportunities.
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile devices are the primary channel used to connect to the internet. According to GSMA, by 2025, there will be 300 million more people using their devices to access internet services.
In light of this significant growth, mobile financial services have become the dominant form of digital payments, with twice as many mobile money accounts as bank accounts in the region. As a result, consumers increasingly expect to have access to a broader range of online offers and digital financial services.
Through this strategic partnership, MTN customers with a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their MoMo wallets can shop on global platforms regardless of whether or not they have a bank account.
The MTN MoMo virtual payments solution will enable consumers to explore and shop at well-known global e-commerce brands and pay quickly and securely for leisure shopping, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services and more. It also allows small business owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and gain access to a range of additional financial services and solutions.
“We are very excited about this partnership with Mastercard, which is another step in realizing our ambition to build Africa’s largest fintech platform, accelerating economic and social development through digital innovations for the benefit of citizens across the continent and beyond,” said MTN Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer Serigne Dioum.
Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa, said: “This significant milestone will enable millions of MTN MoMo customers to benefit from global digital commerce, advancing consumer choice and driving digital and financial inclusion. This partnership shows that we can deliver innovative digital solutions that have a far-reaching impact and realize the true potential of inclusive growth across the continent, ultimately unlocking opportunities to improved economic possibilities for individuals and businesses.”
Initially designed to facilitate the transfer of cash between mobile users, MTN’s MoMo offering is now much broader. The group works with numerous partners to offer services including loans and savings, insurance, remittances and payments.