ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA is expected to benefit from a partnership between the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and MasterCard aimed at accelerating the drive for financial inclusion and economic well-being across Africa.
UBA and MasterCard are partnering across African countries in which the bank currently operates such as Zambia, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote Dâ€™Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana.
Others are Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.
According to a statement availed to the Daily Mail recently, the five-year partnership which came into effect in the second quarter of 2016, will witness UBA issue MasterCard credit, debit and prepaid cards in new and old markets in Africa.
â€œThe partnership will also focus on increased payment infrastructure across Africa, including the roll-out of point-of-sale and mobile-point-of-sale technology, to ensure merchants are able to accept the cards when introduced into these markets.
â€œIn June this year, MasterCard set a goal to connect 40 million micro and small merchants to its electronic payments network within five years. This expands on the companyâ€™s universal financial access 2020 commitment made last year,â€ the statement reads.
Commenting on the development, UBA group managing director Kennedy Uzoka said: â€œAs the needs for our customers change, we are adapting through strategic innovations and partnerships to provide them with excellent and convenient services.â€
Similarly, MasterCard sub-Saharan Africa division president Daniel Monehin said putting emphasis on infrastructure is a key element in driving financial inclusion.
â€œMasterCardâ€™s continued innovation in the payments spaces coupled with UBAâ€™s extensive pan-African network will mean the introduction of increased competition and a stronger financial sector in these regions.
â€œCollaborating with UBA has allowed for maximum impact when it comes to changing lives and introducing smarter ways for people to pay in Africa. Creating financially inclusive societies is dependent on these kinds of partnerships and we will continue to look for ways to partner in Africa going forward,â€ he said.
ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka