Digital payments in Africa are taking shape and the union of telecom companies and payments service providers gives shape to the vision. Airtel Africa has entered into a partnership with Mastercard, in a bid to give the over 100 million Airtel Africa mobile phone users and network subscribers across 14 African countries access to Mastercard’s global network.
In the deal, users will be able to use the Mastercard virtual card to make payments to local and global online merchants that accept Mastercard cards, while ensuring that the customer’s financial data is always secure and private. The move, which happens to be a primary financial inclusion project will allow this access to all Airtel Money customers including those without a bank account.
Additionally, the customers will also be able to make payments for goods and services at outlets via Quick Response codes, easily noted as QR codes. This will enable for payments to be made from an active 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.
One other benefit that Airtel Africa customers will gain is that of competitive pricing and preferential exchange rates for international payments, as well as access to other domestically relevant use cases including bill payments , merchants payments and value added services such as cash management solutions.