MasterCard announced on Tuesday its entrance into seven new markets in Central and West Africa, including Chad, the Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Gambia.
The credit card company’s entrance into the markets expands its presence to 48 of the 55 markets on the African continent.
“Africa’s ongoing economic development, steady population growth and encouraging political outlook means that there is an increasing need for innovative and secure payment solutions that address market needs,” Michael Miebach, the president of the Middle East and Africa at MasterCard, said. “The continent has immense strategic importance to MasterCard, and we will continue to invest in infrastructure, people and know-how in this part of the world. This has been the fastest growing area for MasterCard for the past few years, and we expect it to continue to register high growth.”
MasterCard has partnered with central banks, governments, mobile network operators, retailers and other industry stakeholders in Africa to gain a better understanding of the countries’ economic outlooks, as well as their demographics, infrastructure challenges and opportunities.
The company’s footprint in Africa has increased to reach over 58,000 ATM locations and 438,000 point-of-sale terminals. Since January 2013, the company has established a number of partnerships on the continent focused on innovation, financial inclusion and secure payment services.
“Our investment in Africa, through sharing industry knowledge and best practice, and by providing training for our customer banks, merchants and retailers, means we are creating more opportunities for all stakeholders in the African payments sector and better integrating the continent’s economies with those elsewhere in the world,” Miebach said.