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Mastercard Launches New program to Empower Fintech Startups in Africa


Mastercard has launched Fintech Express, a program to provide tailor-made solutions that boost market entry and expansion for fintech startups in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

Mastercard Fintech Express is designed for all types of fintechs: established fintechs wanting a direct license from Mastercard; as well as fintechs with the ambition to innovate through collaborating with ready-to-go Mastercard Engage partners. The program is split into three core modules and will supports digital payment innovators by making it simple to collaborate with Mastercard and its partners to launch new fintech products.

It is designed for fintechs looking to add payment solutions to their suite of products, tech-savvy startups looking at serving a new segment as well as established players with ambitions to innovate through partnerships. Becoming an Express Partner helps brands simplify the launch of payment solutions, shortening the process from a few months to a matter of days. Express Partners will also enjoy all the benefits of becoming a Qualified Mastercard Engage Partner.

“Startups are forming diverse collaborations with traditional financial institutions, and in the process manage to enhance competitiveness, while also bringing services and products to market that can have a real impact on consumers.” Gaurang Shah, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments & Labs, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard said.

”Mastercard is playing a central role in making fintech partnerships a reality as a single technology provider. Technological advancement and innovation are steering the digital financial services industry, where fintech players are becoming globally mainstream and an increasing influx of fintech players are competing with large traditional players. With today’s announcement we are taking the next step in further empowering them to fulfil their ambitions of scale and speed,” he added.

In Africa, fintech startup funding is one of the most active business investments and Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya represent the lion’s share of investment. The MEA region also currently has over 1,200 fintech players, covering everything from credit to insurance to wealth management offered through a centralized cloud-based platform.

Some of the early players to have joined forces and created alliances under the new Express Partner program across Sub-Saharan Africa are Diamond Trust Bank, DPO Group, Selcom and Tutuka.

Mastercard Fintech Express program falls under the umbrella of Mastercard Accelerate – Mastercard’s overarching fintech platform that gives start-ups and emerging brands support and assistance for every stage of their growth and transformation, from market entry to global expansion. Mastercard Accelerate is comprised of four main programs: Fintech ExpressStart PathEngage and Developers.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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