by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – MASTERCARD, the technology company in the global payments industry, is to establish an office in Zimbabwe.
This comes as it reinforces its commitment to drive the digital
transformation agenda in the country.
Ajay Banga, the Mastercard President and Chief Executive Officer,
disclosed the office will be set up in the capital Harare.
It is anticipated the office would to address financial inclusion – a
pressing challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa where only 42,6 percent of the adult population has access to an account.
The office will allow Mastercard to provide more effective support to its customers in neighbouring Southern African countries.
Banga made the announcement in Harare on Monday at the company’s CEO Conversations event, a gathering of senior leaders from top financial institutions, mobile network operators and retailers.
“Harnessing our global technologies and expertise, our Zimbabwean team will closely collaborate with all stakeholders to solve local challenges and enable more inclusion in the formal financial system.”
At the event in Harare, Banga met with key government and private sector stakeholders including Professor Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, and Dr John Mangudya, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, to formalise Mastercard’s support for payments innovation in Zimbabwe.
Mangudya said, “We see Mastercard’s investment as a positive development that will help us achieve our long-standing vision and our strategic plan to accelerate the shift towards cashless payments, modernise payments systems and infrastructure, and build an inclusive financial sector that supports the socio-economic development of the country.”
Zimbabwe is implements the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which aims to increase access to formal financial services from 69 percent in 2014 to at least 90 percent by 2020.
Mark Elliott, Division President for Mastercard, Southern Africa,
applauded steps Zimbabwe towards modernising its electronic payments sector and enhancing a more inclusive society.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner more closely with
Zimbabwe’s financial institutions, businesses and public sector to bring greater interoperability and payments innovation to the benefit of consumers and merchants,” Elliot said.
– CAJ News