The Mastercard Engage programme is expanding in sub-Saharan Africa targeting fintechs in Kenya and Nigeria. Mastercard says the first Engage events will be held in these two African countries to introduce local fintech innovators to its broad partnership opportunities.

Mastercard Engage is a global partnership and development programme that builds digital payment technology ecosystems and enhances speed to market. The programme connects financial institutions, merchants and IoT Manufacturers with the right technology partners that can help them deliver innovative payment solutions, for businesses and consumers alike.

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The programme was launched in February 2017 and has since has tripled the number of fintech partners. The capabilities of these partners include deploying digital wallets, enabling tokenization, facilitating instant payouts and launching mobile point of sale solutions, among others.

“People today are more connected, more technologically savvy and more mobile. As a result, financial institutions, merchants and device manufacturers seek to provide them more innovative ways to pay and be paid across all channels and devices. Bringing these solutions to life depends on finding the right service provider who can work behind the scenes to integrate the technology. Having more local partners not only supports our vision of innovating locally but brings our customers closer to service providers who better understand their businesses and markets ensuring they can bring the right solutions to their customer more efficiently”. Adam Jones, Area Business Head Mastercard East Africa says.

Engage connects fintechs to possible customers and technology partners registered for Engage have their qualified solutions listed, ranked and reviewed in Engage directories. They also get access to Engage-specific training through the “Academy for Engage” education and training programme, as well as regional events that provide up to date information on Mastercard’s value propositions, product strategy and market priorities.  These partner benefits are delivered through a dedicated site within Mastercard Developers. To date, over 160 technology providers are qualified as Engage partners globally.

“At Mastercard, we believe partnerships – particularly with regional fintechs with a deep understanding of the local environment – are crucial for ongoing innovation that delivers relevant payment solutions to empower communities. Engage connects financial institutions and merchants with technology partners within a broad innovation ecosystem, helping companies create and launch the most innovative payment solutions for businesses and consumers.” Omokehinde Adebanjo, Area Business Head , Mastercard West Africa says.

Mastercard Engage addresses three key challenges: the need for payment solution providers to constantly evolve their offerings; the growing pressure for financial services organisations to harness digital innovation to offer secure, compliant solutions; and the need for advanced, convenient financial solutions to empower business and consumers.

The platform uses a publically available website to help issuers and merchants find the right solutions, such as digital wallets, mobile POS, tokenized payment services, security solutions, and payment controls solutions, and identify qualified technology partners who can help them build those solutions in their markets. These fully vetted, experienced companies offer interoperable solutions that meet industry and Mastercard standards and are able to evolve with Mastercard as the payment ecosystem continues to innovate.

Use cases range from contactless payments, NFC wallets on wearable devices and secure card-on-file e-commerce, through to mobile POS and advanced commercial payment solutions.

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