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MasterCard prepares for exponential African growth

MasterCard prepares for exponential African growth

MasterCard is eyeing a slice of the expected exponential growth from the emerging African market in coming years, particularly as mobile payments surge, Aaron Oliver, the head of

MasterCard mobile app

MasterCard is eyeing a slice of the expected exponential growth from the emerging African market

emerging payments in the Middle East and Africa, said yesterday.

Speaking at Cards and Payments World Africa 2014 in Johannesburg yesterday, Oliver said the continent had become almost unrecognisable from what it was eight years ago, with much of the change influenced by technology roll-outs.

“It has become an industry as opposed to the next best thing,” he said.

In sub-Saharan Africa, about 16% of adults used a mobile to pay bills and send or receive money in the past year. There are 42 million active mobile money users in the region, which represents about 70% of the global population of active users, according to data referred to by Oliver. About 52% of mobile money services are in Africa.

“We have to work on it, bring on new partners so that early adopters can get good experiences, convenience, safe and secure transactions,” Oliver continued.

MasterCard operates in 48 of the 55 countries in Africa. During the past 12 months it has expanded into seven countries on the continent. The African business is one of the fastest growing businesses for MasterCard, according to Oliver, although he could not share details.

Although 85% of retail transactions today on the continent were still conducted in cash, Oliver said over time the manufacture of cheaper smartphones with faster processing power could alter this statistic. “People felt M-Pesa came out of nowhere, but it took 10 years to come out of nowhere,” Oliver said.

He added that the migration from cash to electronic transacting methods remained a behaviour shift.

The post MasterCard prepares for exponential African growth appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.

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