MASTERCARD, a global technology leader has entered into partnership with Selcom, a leading East African fintech, to enable Tanzanian merchants to move away from cash transactions.
The partnership will provide Mastercard access to Selcom’s established network of merchants in Tanzania, expand its mobile payments solution, Masterpass QR and the two will work to empower the merchants to accept QR payments.
Additionally, the partnership will enable banks, Microfinance Institutions, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the ability to offer Masterpass QR to their customers with the goal of creating a cashless Tanzania.
Available on either a mobile money account or a banking app, Masterpass QR is a quick, secure and convenient way for consumers to pay and for merchants to accept digital payments. Merchants will display a Quick Response (QR) code in store that can be scanned using a smartphone or alternatively the consumer can use the USSD menu on their feature phone and simply type in a unique merchant code.
Over 95 per cent of the businesses in Tanzania are SMEs, representing 35 per cent of the country’s GDP according to the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA).
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.
“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,” says Chris Bwakira, Vice-President and Area Business Head, East Africa, Mastercard. “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 benefit of all its citizens.” Masterpass QR facilitates operational efficiencies for smaller businesses, the backbone of emerging economies, according to the World Bank, four out of five new jobs are created in these developing markets.
“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,” says Sameer Hirji, Executive Director of Selcom.
Masterpass QR will enable thousands of merchants to accept quick and secure payments, giving them a competitive edge and providing a way for these business owners to track their financial history, further enabling them to access loans and other financial products that can help to grow their business.
Especially important for the two organisations is the ability to reach merchants and consumers that currently don’t have a mobile money account or formal banking account.