Mastercard Buys Into Africa
MasterCard will be acquiring a minority stake in the fintech unit of African telecom giant MTN.
“More people in Africa are relying on cell phones to access financial services. This is a market MTN and MasterCard realized they can exploit to the maximum,” says Fabio de Masi, a research associate at the Financial Innovation Hub of the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics.
This potential, coupled by the fact that MTN fintech unit facilitated $2.2 billion worth of remittances in 2022, means the telco is the quintessential rival to banks. “The coming together of one of the biggest players in payment processing and Africa’s largest mobile provider is a lethal combination,” notes de Masi.