Mastercard has now rolled out Masterpass QR in seven countries in the MEA region.
The push into the region started in earnest last summer, when United Bank Limited launched the mobile payments app in Pakistan. The solution then found its way into Nigeria via Ecobank Trans International Group and UBA, and was launched in Kenya last month. It has also been launched in Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, and Mastercard says its partnership with Ecobank Trans International will bring it to 33 additional African countries with the launch of the latter’s new mobile banking app.
In a statement announcing the MEA push, Mastercard framed it as part of the company’s effort to bring “efficient and cost effective payment solutions to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the region.” That should offer a social benefit, too, with Mastercard Lead for Digital Payments and Innovation Labs in Middle East and Africa Gaurang Shah asserting that it will help Mastercard “to fulfill its strategy of bringing millions of previously excluded citizens – both business owners and consumers – into the financial mainstream and developing payment ecosystems that enable for people to move beyond cash.”
It should also help Mastercard to further extend and deepen the reach of Masterpass around the world as the company seeks to promote the cross-channel solution in competition against the likes of Apple Pay and PayPal.