Facebook Messenger fuels Mastercard’s payments pursuit in Africa and Asia
Its use of Messenger will launch in Nigeria, where Mastercard will pilot a new Masterpass QR bot. Ecobank and Zenith Bank will support this inaugural programme. The pilot in Nigeria is the beginning of a larger plan by the two companies to get more businesses into their version of the digital economy.
Mastercard cites research by the Fletcher School and its own Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth, that of the $301 billion of funds flows from consumers to businesses in Nigeria, 98% is still based on cash. Like many other firms it wants to tap into this lucrative market.
Jorn Lambert, EVP, digital channels and regions, Mastercard, says Masterpass QR lets merchants “create auditable transaction records” and “open doors to other financial tools and products such as loans to drive added business growth”.
To get started, businesses can send a request to the bot to enable QR payments, receive approval from the bank, set up an account and start accepting digital payments.
Once the account set up process is complete, business owners can print and display the QR code in their stores or save the code on their phones. Customers can pay by either scanning the code from their smartphone or by entering the merchant ID associated with the QR code into their feature phone.
Launched in 2016, Masterpass QR provides people with “any type of mobile phone” the ability to accept and make in-person purchases without cash or a plastic card.
In a separate development published today (28 February), cloud-based platform Dream Payments teamed up with Mastercard. The two players will use Mastercard Send to help insurance policyholders receive payments faster into any account.