Mastercard and Access Bank collaborate to increase cross-border payment options in Africa.

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Mastercard and Access Bank collaborate to increase cross-border payment options in Africa.

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Mastercard and Access Bank collaborate to increase cross-border payment options in Africa.

Access Bank Group and Mastercard have launched a consolidated cross-border money movement system across Africa that will enable businesses and consumers to send and receive international payments to and from over 150 countries.

Access Bank Group, a leading multinational bank, unveiled the innovative solution at a ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, earlier this month.

This initiative to expand access to cross-border payments and remittances leverages on the network and treasury capabilities of Mastercard Move. It aims to bring Africa closer to the global economy by empowering entities to conduct instant, traceable, seamless, and cost-effective international transactions via Access Bank’s cutting-edge Access Africa platform.

The ground-breaking collaboration represents a significant milestone in creating a more inclusive financial ecosystem in the continent, with both parties exhibiting commitment to apply their combined strengths, resources, and expertise to drive meaningful change and enhance financial inclusion for millions across the continent.

It offers a global gateway for businesses and individuals to capitalise on Access Bank Group’s deep understanding of African markets and a forward-looking vision that aims to realise customer aspirations through innovative product sets.

By integrating Mastercard’s multiple complementary network assets with the treasury capabilities of Mastercard Move, this collaboration provides customers with more payment options.

Customers in Access Bank’s operating countries in Africa will hence be able to send and receive cross-border payments globally through various channels, including bank accounts, mobile wallets, cards, and cash.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Mastercard to advance financial inclusion in Africa through the Access Africa initiative,” said Senior Advisory, Retail Banking, Access Bank, Robert Giles, at the launch on May 8. “By combining our strengths, we can unlock new opportunities, bridge the financial divide, and create a more inclusive and prosperous future for all Africans,” he added.

“Empowering Access Bank customers with innovative solutions that prioritise choice, security, and flexibility, is an achievement that fills us with great pride. This collaboration signifies our commitment to transforming payment experiences, as it not only brings cutting-edge payment solutions to the bank’s diverse clientele, but also extends the reach of Mastercard’s financial and digital ecosystem, ensuring millions from underserved communities can actively participate in the evolving financial and digital economy,” said Mastercard’s Division President for Africa, Mark Elliott.

Cross-border remittances are a vital component of Africa’s economy. Flows to Sub-Saharan Africa increased by approximately 1.9 percent in 2023 to $54 billion as a result of robust remittance growth in countries like Mozambique, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, with Nigeria accounting for 38 percent. This year, remittance flows to the region are projected to grow by 2.5 percent.

Similarly, business-to-business cross-border payments serve as a lifeline to many enterprises that rely on regional and international trade, which help to fuel economic growth in Africa.

Fable Fintech, an Express Partner of the Mastercard Move Partner Programme, was the technical implementation partner of the solution, effectively bringing it to fruition. Co-Founder and CEO of Fable Fintech, Naushad Contractor, said: “We were fortunate to be the fulcrum of the seamless multi-country integration of one of the largest banks in Africa using the network and resilience of Mastercard’s cross-border assets. We look forward to working on more innovative solutions that will empower the lives of African customers and businesses.”

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