Mastercard announces partnership with FinTech startup Selcom in Tanzania

Mastercard has entered into a partnership with FinTech startup Selcom. The partnership between the two companies was announced at the recently held Financial Times Payments Innovation Summit.

According to the global payments company, the partnership with Selcom will help it expand its QR payments offering in Tanzania. Mastercard believes access to Selcom’s established network of merchants in Tanzania will help them empower merchants in the East Afrikan country to accept QR payments.

"Supporting local business growth is critical, and our role as the private sector should not be overlooked. The local government cannot achieve its goals to drive innovation and entrepreneurial competitiveness alone, it will take investment and commitment by organisations vested in Tanzania’s prosperity,” said Sameer Hirji, Executive Director of Selcom.

This won't be the first time that Mastercard and Selcom work together. At the beginning of March 2018,Mastercard entered into a three-way partnership with Selcom and Tigo Tanzania to introduce QR payments in the East Afrikan country. This partnership, was said to make available QR payments to Tigo's 7 million subscribers in Tanzania by the end of April 2018.

"Tanzanian SMEs are too reliant on cash as a means of transacting, which puts businesses at risk of crime and also places a burden on the economy. Cash handling is expensive, and in todays connected world, unnecessary. There are more efficient ways for businesses to operate, and the role of our partnership with Selcom will help us to develop a stronger payments ecosystem in Tanzania to the benefit of all its citizens,” said Chris Bwakira, Vice President and Area Business Head, East Africa at Mastercard.

Over 95 percent of the businesses in Tanzania are SMEs, representing 35 percent of the country’s GDP according to the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. The countrywide roll-out of Masterpass QR will go a long way to empower these businesses to accept interoperable electronic payments, while providing banks and MNOs with a wider range of solutions and services to offer to their customers.

“Selcom and Mastercard's aim is to shape the way payments are made in Tanzania using digitally enabled solutions. Tanzanians have an affinity for mobile, so introducing payment solutions that remove the need to carry around cash will make their lives considerably easier and safer. Our partnership will enable us to also expand the scope of Masterpass QR beyond retail, reaching more businesses in the country and potentially across Africa,” concluded Hirji.

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