Ecobank partners Mastercard

Ecobank Ghana has partnered MasterCard to offer convenient and reliable financial services to consumers and clients in Africa.

At an official signing ceremony in Accra, Patrick Akinwuntan, Group Executive of Domestic Banking at Ecobank, explained that Ecobank’s relationship with MasterCard dates back to 2004 when the bank became the first financial institution in West Africa to issue international cards.

“In December 2013, we took a major step when Ecobank and MasterCard signed a pan-African issuing and acquiring agreement with the purpose of providing a MasterCard payment solution in 28 affiliates across sub-Saharan African countries.”

This agreement extends to Ecobank’s 32 countries in Africa, thus expanding the MasterCard issuing and acquiring capabilities to thousands of merchants across Africa; growing its e-commerce business and expanding its service offerings to retail and commercial customers in Africa.

According to Mr. Akinwuntan, Ecobank remains committed to taking banking to the people and deepening financial inclusion.

“The partnership with MasterCard leverages digital products and platforms to better provide convenient banking to its customers across Africa in an efficient manner.”

Michael Miebach, President of MasterCard, Middle East and Africa, said signing this deal with Ecobank is a transformative step in bringing financial inclusion to Africa.

“This deal is more than a step. It will bring in more people into digital banking and take away cash. Cash is too expensive to handle and carry around. Replacing cash with cards is the future of banking on the continent. “I am very happy that we are signing this agreement with Ecobank. The platform the bank provides cannot be challenged by anyone else. We are targeting 10million clients across 32 countries,” he said.

Albert Essien, the outgoing Group CEO of Ecobank, said this agreement has come at an opportune time to provide the bank needed support to meet the varied and ever-changing needs of its customers to provide digital financial products and service channels across their affiliates to existing and future Ecobank MasterCard customers.

He noted that under this agreement MasterCard will part-fund to the tune of about US$7million to cover some of the costs in the massive roll-out of cards and merchant POSs. In addition to the 1.9 million cards being issued by Ecobank Nigeria, the two parties will issue 2.2million cards within the 10-year tenure of this agreement.

The cards to be issued include contactless-cards and credit cards to premier banking customers; credit cards and other debit cards to advantaged banking customers; prepaid cards to all the segments, especially the youth (direct banking); and classic customers which include the unbanked and financially excluded.

The MasterCard Internet Gateway Services (MIGS) enhanced with secure code for online transactions for international merchants on the 3D secure platform will be available to facilitate online transactions.

“Customers will also enjoy value added services such as co-branded cards and loyalty cards from selected merchants. We have demonstrated our commitment to date, and I assure MasterCard that Ecobank is rightfully the banking and financial services partner of choice in Africa. We will remain true to our vision and mission as a pan-African bank, not withstanding challenges that may come,” he added.

Source : B&FT