Mastercard and MTN Group Partner on Mobile Payments in Africa

mobile payment at outdoor market

Mastercard and MTN Group Fintech have partnered to help consumers and small businesses across Africa transact through mobile payments.

With this partnership, Mastercard’s technology will support MTN’s FinTech platform, which has 290 million subscribers and 60 million active monthly MTN Mobile Money (MTN MoMo) wallets, the companies said in a Wednesday (Feb. 28) press release.

The companies’ agreement covers 13 markets in Africa, according to the release.

“We look forward to working with Mastercard as a partner that is also committed to the enablement of more people and businesses through the collaboration into best-in-class apps, superior user experiences, safe transactions, secure remittances, new use cases and expanded acceptance,” Serigne Dioum, group CEO at MTN Fintech, said in the release.

As part of this collaboration, the companies will add a virtual and physical Mastercard companion card to every MoMo wallet, according to the release. This will give each user access to more than 100 million acceptance locations globally.

Mastercard will also provide its cybersecurity solutions to MNT’s operations, the release said.

In addition, the partnership will give small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) access to payment acceptance solutions that will enable them to accept digital payments, including QR, Tap on Phone and digital cards, per the release.

“We are very proud of our partnership with MTN that will enable digital commerce for millions of people in Africa,” Amnah Ajmal, executive vice president, market development EEMEA at Mastercard, said in the release. “In addition, mobile money solutions can be greatly beneficial for [SMBs], enabling growth through seamless commercial operations, wider payments acceptance, access to affordable credit and secure digital tools.”

The announcement of this collaboration comes about seven months after Mastercard agreed to a minority investment in MTN’s FinTech group, which valued that side of the company’s business at $5.2 billion.

At the same time as that investment, announced in August 2023, MTN said that it made a commercial agreement with Mastercard “to support the acceleration and growth of our FinTech business’s payments and remittance services.”

Africa’s younger, under-banked population has increasingly adopted mobile payments as a linking bridge to financial services, MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita said in August.