MasterCard expands mobile remittance services in Africa

Money Transfer

MasterCard today made two announcements at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, that expand mobile remittance services in Africa.

MasterCard announced an agreement with eTranzact International PLC, a leading Pan-African mobile banking and payment services company, to make international remittance services available to millions of consumers in Nigeria. The card network also announced a partnership with Steward Bank in Zimbabwe to make remittance services available to the bank's more than 1.5 million accountholders.

Under the eTranzact agreement, citizens will be able to securely receive international remittances to their eTranzact mobile money wallets or select bank accounts through the international transfer hub, HomeSend. A joint venture between MasterCard, eServGlobal and BICS, HomeSend bridges the gap between various entities globally — such as financial institutions, non-financial entities and mobile network operators — enabling Nigerians living and working abroad to send money from mobile money accounts, payment cards, bank accounts or cash outlets back home, according to a press release.

"For millions of Nigerians, the receipt of funds from friends and family is an important lifeline. HomeSend provides senders across the globe and the recipients in Nigeria with a convenient, safe, and cost effective money transfer channel," said Omokehinde Ojomuyide, vice president and area business head for West Africa at MasterCard.

Upon receipt of funds into their eTranzact mobile wallets, Nigerians can use PocketMoni, eTranzact's mobile money platform, to pay bills, top up airtime, pay select merchants, cash out at agents or participating bank ATMs, and send money to any bank account, PocketMoni user, eTrazact card or mobile phone user.

MasterCard is also using HomeSend in the deal with Steward Bank. In the next phase of that agreement, Steward Bank's sister company EcoCash will soon connect to HomeSend, enabling more than four million EcoCash mobile money customers to receive remittances into their mobile money wallets, after which they can pay bills, pay merchants, send money and cash out. Those who hold a MasterCard Debit Companion card linked to their EcoCash wallets will also be able to withdraw money from MasterCard-licensed ATMs and pay for goods and services at millions of merchants that accept MasterCard payment cards, both in Zimbabwe and internationally, according to the announcement.

Source: Mobile Money 5 March 2015