Last week Mastercard made a further stride to leverage collaboration and partnerships to drive innovation. The payments giant announced a collaborative venture with Samsung, Airtel Africa, and Asante Financial Services Group (Asante) to launch payments platform Pay-on-Demand. The aim of this partnership is to drive the digital economy across Africa by creating digital and financial inclusion to enhance the economic possibilities for individuals and businesses in the region.
Mastercard Labs will be overseeing the build of this platform, working to solve the issue of enabling easy-access asset financing opportunities to consumers, entrepreneurs, and merchants across Africa. Users will be granted digital access to everyday products and services that will largely benefit under-served consumers as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through their smart handsets at low upfront costs, where payments can be divided over time.
Transactions tallied through the product also enable its users to establish a digital transaction history, which can be cited as records for making other financing solutions, such as credit, savings, investments, and insurance, attainable. Small business owners and entrepreneurs will particularly benefit from Pay-on-Demand with the opportunity to obtain financing to drive business forward faster and access tools that build digital capabilities for business.
Samsung, Asante, and Airtel all have specific contributions in the effective delivery of this service. The product will be made available via Samsung’s Pay-on-Demand mobile devices. Each Samsung device will be embedded with Samsung Knox, a platform which provides a secure environment for corporate data and apps, protecting business and personal privacy at all times–even when switched off. Users will be able to access these smartphones through Asante’s leading digital financial services that specialise in providing hand-set loans for consumers. Coordinating the delivery of the product itself will be Airtel Africa, a popular telecommunications and mobile money services provider.
The product is being considered to roll out in 14 markets starting first in Uganda in October. Speaking on the potential of the region, CEO and President of Samsung Africa Sung Yoon said, “This partnership will benefit the people across Africa starting with Uganda and will create affordable payment plans to access Samsung devices. There is so much growth opportunity in the region and we believe that this partnership will help accelerate economic growth in the mobile industry.”
If the service is successful, Mastercard will greatly assist in providing increased access to financing and other financial services across African regions.