Airtel and Mastercard partner to offer a virtual debit card offering to Airtel Money customers

Airtel Uganda announced the start of its virtual debit card offering to provide its customers a safe, convenient and secure platform to transact online globally.

The partnership had been announced on October last year, when Mastercard started collaboration with several African companies to drive digital inclusion.

The virtual card allows Airtel Money customers, even those without a bank account, to make payments to local and global online merchants that accept Mastercard cards like Netflix, Uber, Amazon, Google play, Aliexpress, Alibaba, while ensuring that the customer’s financial data is always secure and private.

“Our mobile money services are changing customers’ lives across Africa. This innovative partnership will help Airtel feature phone customers upgrade to smartphones and pay with Airtel Money on flexible instalment plans. This opens up the digital economy and creates additional opportunities for Africa’s entrepreneurs.”

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa

There are 14 markets being considered across Africa, starting with Uganda. This partnership builds on the broader digital transformation partnership between Mastercard and Airtel Africa across sub-Saharan Africa. The other markets include Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, DRC, Gabon, Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Chad, Niger and Congo Brazzaville. This partnership also builds on the global partnership with Samsung to provide Pay-on-Demand mobile devices. 

“Across the MEA region our digital partnerships strategy remains focused on enabling digital transformation for our partners so that their consumers can enjoy seamless access to payments and a superior experience. We are very excited to partner with Airtel to lead the transition to digital by enabling access to their millions of consumers for online and in-person payments across the globe. Mastercard is uniquely positioned as a single technology provider to enable our digital partners like Airtel to transition seamlessly into digital.”

Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa

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