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Thursday, Feb 20th

Zazu links Mastercard prepaid cards to its mobile wallet

Zazu links Mastercard prepaid cards to its mobile wallet

In what is described as a first for the Zambia market, FinTech firm Zazu Africa Limited (Zazu) has partnered with Mastercard to issue prepaid cards linked to the Zazu app.

According to a statement released by Zazu, the mobile wallet allows customers (even those without a bank account) to send, receive and pay money digitally – but currently users can only make payments at select Zazu merchants in Zambia.

"By obtaining a Zazu Mastercard prepaid card, cardholders will be able to withdraw money from ATMs and pay for purchase at millions of merchants that accept Mastercard, both in Zambia and internationally. The prepaid card also features the latest contactless technology, providing cardholders with a fast and convenient payment solution with the highest security protection," reads the company's statement.

For e-commerce payments, Zazu customers can request a Mastercard virtual card directly in the app, "providing them with a secure way of transacting online without needing to share their primary card or account information with the merchant. Zazu users can opt for a single use virtual card, which will expire immediately once it's used, or a virtual card that is valid for 30 days and has no limit on how many times it is used."

Perseus Mlambo, founder and chief executive officer, Zazu says: "From the get-go, we set out to build a wallet that people would be able to use locally, and globally. Giving our user-base a companion card to their wallets means they can use their funds at millions of locations around the world. It also provides our customers with the control and confidence they need to manage their money more smartly. We are extremely excited by the opportunities."

Zazu adds that the initiative aligns with the Bank of Zambia's National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which aims to increase financial inclusion from 59%in 2017 to 80% by 2022, by enabling more people and businesses to access digital payments and formal financial services.

"Our programs are developed to help consumers and businesses meet their daily needs, including the ability to transact more efficiently and safely," says Mark Elliott, Division President, Mastercard Southern Africa. "We are excited to partner with Zazu and lead the transition to digital payment by enabling access to their customers for online and in-person payments across the globe - without the costs and risks associated with cash."

The companies explain that anyone in Zambia can apply for the prepaid card directly from the Zazu app, as well as receive the virtual card. Once they have an account, they can top up their accounts seamlessly through Zazu agents operating in their communities.

In August 2019 ITWeb reported that according to the GSM Association (GSMA), Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest-growing investment zones for financial technology companies.

The GSMA says in its Mobile Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa 2019 report that the region will remain the fastest growing worldwide.

Predicting a total subscriber base of over 600 million by 2025, which represents approximately half the population, Sub-Saharan Africa will become a flagship for mobile disruption

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