Mastercard has said that it will continue to show strong support for Zimbabwe’s drive to create a new wave of digital payments and inclusive growth.
According to Mastercard President and CEO, Ajay Banga, who visited Zimbabwe this week, the company will collaborate with local private and public sector partners to drive greater financial inclusion through the implementation of innovative payment technologies.
He made the announcement in Harare today at the company’s CEO Conversations event, a gathering of senior leaders from top financial institutions, mobile network operators and retailers. The new office will allow Mastercard to provide more effective support to its customers in neighbouring Southern African countries.
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.
Banga also disclosed Mastercard’s plans to establish an office in Harare, Zimbabwe to coordinate its efforts to address financial inclusion – a pressing challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa where only 42.6 per cent of the adult population has access to an account.
“Too many people and businesses are still excluded from the financial mainstream. This leaves them without the things we take for granted – a way to save money for a rainy day, get loans, or insure themselves or their crops,” says Banga. “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.”
Mastercard’s expertise and products will be relevant across Southern Africa and in Zimbabwe, as the country implements the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which aims to increase access to formal financial services from 69 per cent in 2014 to at least 90 per cent by 2020.
Dr John Mangudya, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, says: “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.”