BrandArena: Ecobank to issue MasterCard debit cards in Nigeria

Friday 18 April 2014

Ecobank to issue MasterCard debit cards in Nigeria

Ecobank has announced a ten year partnership with MasterCard, for the issuance of debit cards to the bank’s customers in Nigeria. The deal follows a licensing agreement between Ecobank Group and MasterCard in January 2014 to provide MasterCard payment solutions in 28 sub-Saharan African nations.

This partnership will see customers in Nigeria continue to leverage the security and convenience of electronic payments, versus cash and other transactions forms.

“Electronic payment platforms provide a cost-effective way to improve financial inclusion in Africa, which is at the core of the vision of Ecobank,” observed Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank's Group Executive Director responsible for Domestic Banking. “In teaming up with Mastercard, we are providing our customers with a “best of breed” solution, combining local market knowledge and proven technological expertise with the economies of scale that derive from access to the leading pan-African payments platform."

Nigeria is currently on a drive to accelerate the adoption of electronic payments, with various stakeholders, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, launching consumer education campaigns. Nigerian banks, for example, working with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), have commenced a consumer awareness campaign to explain the benefits of electronic payment platforms, with the aim of increasing their acceptance.

“In Nigeria, increased urbanization, a growing labor force and the rise of online shopping are fuelling demand for more convenient payments,” added Jibril Aku, Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria. “Using electronic payments to penetrate the country’s unbanked population of nearly 80 million also represents a market with huge, untapped potential.”

Daniel Monehin, Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard, commented: “We envisage a world beyond cash in Nigeria and Africa, where consumers can enjoy the security, efficiency and convenience of electronic payments. Our vision can only become a reality through collaborations with key industry stakeholders, such as the Ecobank Group. Working together with governments, financial institutions, merchants and businesses, we will be able to help modernize the payment industry in Africa.”

In 2011, MasterCard entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Ecobank Group, through which the banking group would become an issuer and acquirer of MasterCard products in more than 1,200 branches across Africa. This gives Ecobank’s customers access to over 35.9 million MasterCard acceptance points – including 2.1 million ATMs – in over 210 countries and territories.

The collaboration comes at a time when MasterCard is working in partnership with governments and financial institutions around the world to broaden usage and acceptance of electronic payments, promoting their benefits relative to cash transactions. Today, over 85% of retail payments globally are still carried out using cash or check, with the percentage being much higher in Africa. However, the combination of a rapidly expanding middle class and steadily improving financial literacy, supported by robust technology, is increasing the appetite for card usage in Africa, providing opportunities for the advancement of a cashless society across the continent.


  1. Cashless economy will go a long way to help achieve a better developed Nigeria. Thank you MasterCard for this plastic 'magic wand' that help us redraw money faster across the club *smile

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