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Ghana: Mastercard fintech forum promotes cybersecurity, contactless payments to drive fintech growth

Mastercard has recently hosted the second annual Mastercard Ghana Fintech Forum in Accra, convening key stakeholders and industry leaders in fintech to discuss critical advancements and promote collaboration. Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, this year’s gathering focused on cybersecurity and the increasing adoption of contactless payments.

The forum showcased the strides and innovation within Ghana’s fintech sector. Fintech platforms in the country are transforming financial services, catering to both underbanked individuals and affluent clients seeking advanced financial solutions. According to recent Bank of Ghana data, fintech transactions surged by 33.4% in Q1 2024, totaling GH¢576.03 billion.

Despite the sector’s growth, fintech firms encounter challenges such as regulatory complexities, limited access to funding, and intense market competition, impacting their expansion and profitability. The Mastercard Ghana Fintech Forum aimed to tackle these challenges by promoting dialogue and fostering innovative solutions to enhance financial inclusion.

“At Mastercard, we believe in the power of collaboration to overcome unique market challenges, drive innovation, and foster growth in the financial sector. The Mastercard Ghana Fintech Forum has emerged as a vital platform for these discussions, promoting fintech growth and driving financial and digital inclusion,” said Bossman Kwapong, Country Director for Ghana, at Mastercard. “This year’s event was particularly significant, bringing together industry leaders to share insights and forge collaborations that will drive the next wave of fintech innovation in Ghana.”

“The Mastercard Ghana Fintech Forum has proved vital in bringing together key stakeholders from various sectors of the fintech ecosystem for productive conversations that will drive innovation and financial inclusion in Ghana.  At Mastercard, our commitment to playing a pivotal role in the country’s dynamic fintech ecosystem remains steadfast, as we continue to provide access to our expertise, network, and cutting-edge technologies to accelerate growth and meet evolving customer demands.” added Folasade Femi-Lawal, Country Manager and Area Business Head for West Africa at Mastercard.

The event featured a panel session on “Contactless Payments – The New Paradigm.” During this discussion, Akintunde Ajayi, Director, Business Development, Fintech & Enablers, EEMEA, Mastercard, said, “Contactless payments are revolutionizing the financial services industry by enhancing convenience, security, and accessibility. Mastercard is committed to advancing these solutions, supporting fintechs in delivering seamless, efficient, and secure payment experiences and driving financial inclusion across the region. Today’s discussion highlighted the transformative potential of these technologies, and I am excited about the future we are building together.”

With only about 43% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population holding a traditional bank account and over 90% payments and transactions being conducted in cash, Mastercard’s initiatives around contactless payments are part of a broader strategy to drive financial inclusion and innovation in Africa. Through collaborations and technological advancements, Mastercard is empowering fintechs to provide secure and accessible payment solutions, enabling financial inclusion for underserved and unbanked communities across the continent.

Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, Director-General of the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), represented by Adjoa Tabi-Asiamah, Lead for Critical Information Infrastructure Protection, Audit, Monitoring & Compliance, CSA, delivered a keynote address highlighting the importance of robust cybersecurity measures amid Ghana’s rapid digital growth. “As we embrace digital transformation, prioritising progressive policies and collaborations that enhance cybersecurity is essential for sustainable economic development. Today’s event was a testament to the collaborative spirit needed to address cybersecurity challenges and to safeguard our digital future,” he said.

The event also spotlighted Mastercard Start Path program, showcasing its role in nurturing and accelerating fintech startups locally and globally. Tolulope A. Adeyinka, Fintech Business Development Lead, West Africa at Mastercard concluded the event by emphasizing the importance of engaging with fintechs to drive inclusive innovation and economic development. “Mastercard Ghana Fintech Forum has become a cornerstone event for the fintech community in Ghana. It was inspiring to see the vibrant exchange of ideas and the collective commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in fintech.”

Mastercard is strongly committed to advancing the fintech sector in Ghana by offering essential tools, resources, and mentorship to support business scalability. Furthermore, Mastercard’s goal of integrating one billion individuals into the digital economy by 2025 is in harmony with its initiatives in Ghana aimed at promoting financial inclusion and fostering innovation.

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