Global payments technology leader Mastercard and Vodafone, one of the world’s largest telecommunications networks, have announced a group partnership to collaborate on capabilities across IoT (Internet of Things) and EoT (Economy of Things) in emerging markets, with an emphasis on Africa.
With Vodafone focused on advancing digital inclusion, and Mastercard working towards its goal of securing financial inclusion for 1 billion people by 2025, there are clear synergies that will allow the two entities to establish further opportunities for cooperation and joint efforts.
The partnership will initially impact markets like Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho, DRC, Egypt and South Africa.
The value of this partnership will extend to end consumers, especially through the Pay on Demand model, which is spearheading convenience and inclusion in various ways, such as giving people with limited financial purchasing power the opportunity to have electricity in their homes.
This is made possible by reliable connectivity and digital IDs, which enable enterprises to leverage new features like remote asset management, which facilitates the locking and unlocking of devices or assets, as well as acceptance of remote payments.
Other sectors that can replicate this model are agriculture, construction and transport, for example, automatic payment based on distance travelled by train, or the number of hours in a parking lot.
The International Data Corporation estimates there will be 41.6 billion people connected to IoT devices in 2025. To transform emerging markets in a way that will drive true inclusion, digital financial services have to scale.
Both Mastercard and Vodafone believe partnerships enable different entities to bring unique capabilities, assets and experiences to the table, in order to move the needle on digital, financial and social inclusion in emerging markets.
The collaboration will also allow impactful ideas and solutions with limited reach, to possibly scale using both companies’ global resources.
“Our digital partnership with Vodafone builds on Mastercard’s long-term strategic commitment to create more opportunities and connections to the digital economy through innovative locally-relevant solutions, by combining the reach of mobile network operators with Mastercard’s secure, value-driven technology.”
“Telecommunications play an important role in financial inclusion for consumers and merchants, and we are delighted to work closer with Vodafone in order to develop the digital payment ecosystem,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa.
“We are optimistic about the role of connectivity and technology in improving people’s lives. As we work to help develop a new digital society in emerging markets by driving data penetration, we are pleased to partner with Mastercard in a joint goal to grow digital financial services in multiple markets, thereby creating a modern, connected world with more opportunities and enhanced socio-economic progress,” added Filipe Garcia, Global Account Manager, Vodafone Americas.
Vodafone currently serves over 400 million customers across 61 markets, facilitates almost 103 million IoT SIM connections, and have 82 million data users in Africa. It has a goal to support 10 million young people to access digital skills, learning and employment opportunities by 2022.
Mastercard has a proven track record as an active enabler of digital financial services across the world, leveraging the power of innovation, technology and partnerships.
This includes digital partnerships that connect telcos, e-tailers, content providers, digital giants and fintechs, in addition to public-private partnerships that are helping governments to establish growth in digital payments, which is associated with growth in GDP.
Source: Mastercard and Vodafone