Mastercard and Cellulant have partnered to allow millions of Cellulant customers across Africa to shop and pay online with global merchants wherever Mastercard is accepted.
The Mastercard virtual payment solution, linked to Cellulant’s payment gateway – Tingg, can unlock a host of opportunities for consumers, whether they have a bank account or not. Consumers can shop from well-known global digital commerce brands, paying quickly and securely for leisure shopping, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services, and more while traveling abroad in their home countries.
The announcement comes as digital commerce and online shopping is thriving across Africa, and the need for safer means of shopping online increases. According to the Economy 2021 Outlook conducted by the Mastercard Economics Institute, 20-30% of the COVID-19-related surge in digital commerce will remain a permanent feature of overall retail spending, and shopping through mobile is largely how consumers access these opportunities.
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile devices are the primary channel used to connect to the internet. According to GSMA, smartphone connections are expected to reach 678 million in 2025, with a penetration of 65%. As a result, alternative payment methods driven by mobile payments have increasingly begun to dominate the digital payments landscape. Consequently, consumers increasingly expect access to a broader range of online offers and digital financial services.
Most consumers obtain goods and services from micro, small and medium-sized businesses. Africa today has about 100 million MSMEs, but less than 5% of their transactions are digitized. Virtual cards offer a clear path to digitization for these businesses with added benefits such as tracking, reconciliation, and quick settlement of day-to-day payments, better management of customer and supplier relationships, and minimized fraud risk, all without sacrificing operational speed. Taking advantage of these opens up paths for growth through value chain financing and ease in raising working capital.
Building a robust digital economy that can unlock a world beyond cash where everyone thrives, and the partnership with Cellulant advances Mastercard’s worldwide commitment to financial inclusion to bring a total of 1 billion people, and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.
“Mastercard’s technology enables our digital partners to redefine their consumer’s digital commerce interactions and experiences,” said Mastercard’s Executive Vice President, Market Development, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa Amnah Ajmal. “By focusing on providing multi-use, omnichannel digital payment solutions, Mastercard is enabling its partners, such as Cellulant, to improve their operational efficiency, diversify their revenue, and transition seamlessly into digital commerce. We see the increasing proliferation of fintech as a strategic opportunity to add value by creating more connections, better user experiences, and greater choice for consumers.”
“We believe seamless payment experiences are the backbone for accelerating African economic growth. MSMEs are the driving force for Africa’s economy, and our work in digitizing payments for businesses and their consumers enables the requisite foundation for innovation, economic development, and financial inclusion. By partnering with Mastercard, we are looking to further open up pathways that effectively position our customers for the growth they need,” said Cellulant’s Chief Revenue Officer David Waithaka.