Ecobank and MasterCard sign debit card agreement in Nigeria

Ecobank and Mastercard sign debit card agreement in NigeriaEcobank customers in Nigeria will be issued with MasterCard-branded debit cards. (Image source: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr)Ecobank will be able to issue its Nigerian customers with MasterCard-branded debit cards under a new 10-year partnership agreement signed with the financial services corporation

The deal follows a licensing agreement made between Ecobank Group and MasterCard in January 2014 to provide MasterCard payment solutions across 28 sub-Saharan African countries.

Patrick Akinwuntan, executive director - domestic banking at Ecobank Group, said, “Electronic payment platforms provide a cost-effective way to improve financial inclusion in Africa, which is at the core of the vision of Ecobank. In teaming up with MasterCard, we are providing our customers with a ‘best of breed’ solution, combining local market knowledge and proven technological expertise with the economies of scale.”

Nigeria is currently on a drive to accelerate the adoption of electronic payments, with various stakeholders – including the Central Bank of Nigeria – launching consumer education campaigns.

Nigerian banks, for example, working with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), have commenced a consumer awareness campaign to explain the benefits of electronic payment platforms, with the aim of increasing acceptance of the method.

Jibril Aku, managing director of Ecobank Nigeria, said, “In Nigeria, increased urbanisation, a growing labour force and the rise of online shopping are fuelling demand for more convenient payments.

“Using electronic payments to penetrate the country’s unbanked population of nearly 80mn also represents a market with huge, untapped potential.”

Daniel Monehin, division president - sub-Saharan Africa at MasterCard, commented, “We envisage a world beyond cash in Nigeria and Africa, where consumers can enjoy the security, efficiency and convenience of electronic payments. Our vision can only become a reality through collaborations with key industry stakeholders, such as the Ecobank Group.

“Working together with governments, financial institutions, merchants and businesses, we will be able to help modernise the payment industry in Africa,” he added.

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