Ecobank Transnational Incorporated has entered into a strategic partnership with Facebook and MasterCard to deliver digital payments to small businesses via the Facebook Messenger platform.
With this development, micro-merchants will be able to receive instant payments using the QR technology.
This Messenger experience will launch in Nigeria, where MasterCard will pilot a new Masterpass QR both to help business owners move beyond cash transactions to accepting QR payments.
With Ecobank’s presence in 33 African countries, the pilot in Nigeria is the beginning of a larger plan to include more businesses in Africa into the digital economy.
According to a statement by the pan African lender, access to digital payments will help businesses expand to new markets, and unlock financial services and products that empower them to grow.
Commenting on the partnership in Lagos, the Group Executive, Consumer Banking, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Patrick Akinwuntan, said the initiative was in line with the bank’s financial inclusion strategy to reach the underserved and unbanked in the society.
He noted that the partnership would further position Ecobank as a major enabler of digital payments across Africa and reinforce its goal to serve 100 million Africans by 2020.
He said, “In line with our goal to serve 100 million Africans by end of 2020, Ecobank is delighted to collaborate with Facebook and Mastercard to enable underserved and unbanked micro-merchants have the opportunity to open an Ecobank Xpress account within minutes and begin to receive instant payments using Ecobank Masterpass on the Facebook Messenger platform.”
He explained that under the arrangement, the bank’s merchants would be empowered to receive customised QR code which they can share with their contacts and customers for easy and secure payments.
Akinwuntan said, “Millions of micro-merchants in Nigeria and soon in 32 other countries within our pan-African network will now become financially included and operate in a cashless manner. That is true economic empowerment.”
“Every business owner is looking for ways to increase sales and draw new customers into their stores. By offering QR-based digital payments, smaller retailers can achieve these goals and create greater customer stickiness with little to no investment beyond the phone they already have.”
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