Mastercard has announced a partnership with Samsung, Airtel Africa, and Asante Financial Services Group to drive the digital economy across Africa starting in Uganda through the launch of the Pay-on-Demand payments. The platform will aim at driving digital and financial inclusion by enabling digital access to everyday products and services for under-served consumers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and hopes to play a key role in improving the economic possibilities for people and businesses.
Mastercard Labs built the payment platform to bring convenient financing opportunities to consumers, entrepreneurs and merchants across Africa, helping to combat the socio-economic problems they face from restricted access to financing. Through Samsung’s pay-on-demand mobile devices and Asante’s insight as a leading provider of digital financial services, the innovative platform provides effective handset loans for consumers while the telecommunications and mobile money services provider, Airtel Africa will coordinate the delivery of the product.
That all Samsung devices are preinstalled with Samsung Knox, a comprehensive set of security features, Mastercard says this will provide a secure environment for corporate data and apps protecting both business and personal privacy from boot-up, runtime, and even when powered off.
The partnership will help to deliver convenient asset financing to consumers and MSMEs through their smart handsets at a low upfront cost while distributing payments over time. Through this, the individual or business will establish a digital transaction history, which can be leveraged for making other financing solutions accessible, such as credit, savings, investments, and insurance.
“At Mastercard, we are committed to accelerating the growth of digital financial services in Africa. As market organizers, we are always partnering with like-minded organizations to advance financial inclusion for individuals and MSMEs by empowering them with the right digital solutions. This Pay-on-Demand platform enables us to deliver on that promise, giving consumers an opportunity to participate in digital commerce while fostering digital and financial inclusion across the country,” Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard said in a press release.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs will obtain financing to drive their business forward as well as build digital capabilities for their everyday business. It is envisaged that Pay-on-Demand users will also be able to access digital payments through Mastercard’s virtual card and Mastercard Quick Response (QR Codes) functionality on their Airtel mobile money app enabling them to make digital transactions across the face to face and online merchants.
The company is considering about 14 markets across Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, DRC, Gabon, Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Chad, Niger, Congo Brazzaville and Uganda) to build on the broader digital transformation with Airtel and globally through partnership with Samsung.
“Samsung is proud to be the provider of world-class devices with an end-to-end security platform with always-on protection. This partnership will benefit the people across Africa starting with Uganda and will create affordable payment plans to access Samsung devices. There is so much growth opportunity in the region and we believe that this partnership will help accelerate economic growth in the mobile industry,” Sung Yoon, CEO and President of Samsung Africa stated.
While commenting on the partnership, Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa said the deal will help Airtel feature phone customers upgrade to smartphones and pay with Airtel Money on flexible installment plans hence opens up the digital economy and creates additional opportunities for Africa’s entrepreneurs. On his part, Chidi Okpala, CEO, Asante Financial Services Group said this bold Africa-wide initiative, starting with Uganda, is aimed at facilitating convenient ownership of smart devices for underserved segments and will catalyze a future for Africa that is built on shared prosperity.