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Mastercard and Zamtel Partner to Drive Financial Inclusion in Zambia

Today Zamtel, a government-owned telecommunication service provider in Zambia, and Mastercard have announced a strategic partnership that will enable Zamtel Mobile Money customers – even those without bank accounts – to make safe and seamless digital payments on the Mastercard network including international e-commerce transactions.

This is expected to drive financial inclusion and improve access to the digital economy.

Under the agreement, Zamtel will launch a suite of Mastercard products including a Mastercard virtual solution, a physical debit card, and Mastercard QR, giving its Mobile Money customers new ways to access and pay for products and services at the millions of merchants that accept Mastercard in Zambia and abroad.

Virtual Payments via Zamlet Mobile Money

With a Mastercard virtual (non-plastic) payment solution linked to Zamtel Mobile Money wallets, consumers and small businesses can make payments to local and global online brands and merchants, expanding their reach to an international online marketplace.

This means e-commerce transactions can be done instantly through mobile wallets for a wide variety of payments including travel, entertainment subscription services and bill payments while ensuring that the customer’s financial data is always secure and private.

For in-person payments, Zamtel Mobile Money customers will obtain a physical Mastercard debit card linked to their Zamtel Mobile Money wallet, which they can use to withdraw money from ATMs and pay at point of sale for goods, services and settle their bills.

Customers will also have access to Mastercard QR, an interoperable payment solution that will enable them to make face-to-face payments at outlets by scanning the Mastercard QR code displayed at checkout or by entering a merchant identifier.

“We are very excited about this partnership with Mastercard, which is another step in realizing our ambition to become a digital lifestyle partner of choice,” said Zamtel CEO Sydney Mupeta.

“With access to Mastercard’s unrivalled network of merchants, this partnership instantly increases the ecosystem of locations where our mobile wallet can be used, bringing greater convenience, more choice, and an enhanced user experience for our customers.”

Following double-digit growth in 2020, GSMA’s latest data reports over half a billion mobile money accounts in Africa – close to half of the global total.

Customers are using their accounts for new and more advanced use cases – including m-commerce – suggesting that more people are moving away from the margins of financial systems and leading increasingly digital lives.

“As more consumers embrace online and digital experiences, new digital payment partnerships are evolving, which are transformative for the growth of economies. We are pleased to advance our digital partnerships strategy in MEA with Zamtel, as we support their digital transformation and bring more seamless payment experiences to their customer,” says Amnah Ajmal, EVP for Market Development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa.

“Telcos play a critical role in enabling the digital economy and hence are a critical partner for us to drive the financial inclusion agenda forward.”


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