Africa: Access Bank and Mastercard Forge Path for Cross-Border Payments in Africa

Access Bank and Mastercard Forge Path for Cross-Border Payments in Africa
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Access Bank Group, in collaboration with Mastercard, has launched an innovative solution aimed at enhancing access to cross-border payments and remittances in and out of Africa, fostering closer integration with the global economy.

By leveraging the network and treasury functionalities of Mastercard Move, Access Bank, through its advanced Access Africa platform, will empower individuals and businesses to enjoy instant, traceable, seamless, and cost-effective international transactions.

Effective immediately, this groundbreaking solution will be operational across Africa, with plans for further expansion to cover the entire continent.

This initiative serves as a global gateway for businesses and individuals, capitalizing on Access Bank Group’s deep understanding of African markets and its forward-looking approach to meeting customer needs through innovative products.

Through the integration of Mastercard’s extensive network assets and the treasury capabilities of Mastercard Move, this partnership offers customers a wider range of payment options.

Cross-border remittances play a crucial role in Africa’s economy, with flows to Sub-Saharan Africa reaching approximately $54 billion in 2023, marking a 1.9% increase. Strong growth in remittances to Mozambique, Rwanda, and Ethiopia contributed to this rise, with Nigeria alone representing 38% of the total remittance flows.

During a joint press conference, Chizoma Okoli, the Group Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank, highlighted that the collaboration with Mastercard underscores the strong alliance between the two organizations, known for their focus on innovation and customer-centric approach.

Okoli emphasized, “The unified cross-border money movement solution we are launching today spans various African markets where Access Bank operates, and we are ensuring compliance with the regulatory requirements of each country. Access Bank remains committed to regulatory compliance, and our customers can expect swift transactions through this unified solution, as with our other offerings.”

Robert Giles, Senior Advisory of Retail Banking at Access Bank, expressed excitement about advancing financial inclusion in Africa through the Access Africa initiative. He noted that by combining strengths, the collaboration aims to unlock new opportunities, bridge the financial gap, and create a more inclusive and prosperous future for all Africans.

Customers in Access Bank’s operating countries in Africa can now send and receive cross-border payments globally through various channels, including bank accounts, mobile wallets, cards, and cash.

Mark Elliott, Division President for Africa at Mastercard, highlighted the importance of empowering Access Bank customers with innovative solutions that prioritize choice, security, and flexibility. He emphasized the commitment to transforming payment experiences and extending the reach of Mastercard’s financial and digital ecosystem to ensure broader participation in the evolving financial landscape.

Folasade Femi-Lawal, Country Manager for West Africa at Mastercard, emphasized Mastercard’s partnership-led approach, which has established a strong presence in West Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. With Access Bank on board, customers can now enjoy Mastercard cross-border services securely, enabling individuals and businesses to send and receive money globally to 90% of the world’s population.

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