The Mastercard virtual payment solution, linked to Cellulant’s payment gateway – Tingg, can unlock a host of opportunities for consumers, whether they have a bank account or not. Consumers will be able to shop from well-known global digital commerce brands, paying quickly and securely for leisure shopping, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services and more, while in their home countries or travelling abroad.
The announcement comes as digital commerce and online shopping is thriving across Africa and the need for safer means of shopping online increases. According to the Economy 2021 Outlook conducted by the Mastercard Economics Institute, 20-30% of the COVID-19-related surge in digital commerce will remain a permanent feature of overall retail spending, and shopping through mobile is largely how consumers access these opportunities.
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile devices are the primary channel used to connect to the internet. According to GSMA, smartphone connections are expected to reach 678 million in 2025, with a penetration of 65%. As a result, alternative payment methods driven by mobile payments have increasingly begun to dominate the digital payments landscape. Consequently, consumers increasingly expect access to a broader range of online offers and digital financial services.
The majority of these consumers obtain goods and services from micro, small and medium-sized businesses. Africa today has about a 100 million MSMEs but less than 5% of their transactions are digitized. For these businesses, virtual cards offer a compelling path to digitization with added benefits such as tracking, reconciliation and quick settlement of day-to-day payments, better management of customer and supplier relationships and minimized fraud risk all without sacrificing operational speed. Taking advantage of these opens up paths for growth through value chain financing and ease in raising working capital.
Mastercard is collaborating with partners to build a strong digital economy that can unlock a world beyond cash where everyone thrives. The partnership with Cellulant plays a role in advancing Mastercard’s worldwide commitment to financial inclusion to bring a total of 1 billion people, and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.
“Mastercard’s technology enables our digital partners to redefine their consumer’s digital commerce interactions and experiences. By focusing on the provision of multi-use, omnichannel digital payment solutions, Mastercard is enabling its partners, such as Cellulant, to improve their operational efficiency, diversify their revenue, and transition seamlessly into digital commerce. We see the increasing proliferation of fintechs as a strategic opportunity to add value by creating more connections, better user experiences and greater choice for consumers,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.
“We believe seamless payment experiences are the backbone for accelerating economic growth across Africa. MSMEs are the driving force for Africa’s economy and our work in digitising payments for businesses and their consumers enables the requisite foundation for innovation, economic development and financial inclusion. By partnering with Mastercard, we are looking to further open up pathways that effectively position our customers for the growth they need,” said David Waithaka, Chief Revenue Officer, Cellulant Group.
Over the last 18 years, Cellulant has built an extensive and unparalleled payments platform that provides local, regional and global businesses with a one-stop-shop payment solution offering a frictionless payment experience for their needs across the continent. Covering 35 countries across Africa with about 300 payment integrations, Cellulant helps stitch together the fabric of Africa’s commercial landscape making interoperability possible.