Mastercard connecting and powering an inclusive digital economy

Advertorial, Monday 19 Dec 2022

Adam Jones, Country Manager of MENA Central, explains how Mastercard technologies are empowering the country’s digital transformation journey.

Adam Jones
Adam Jones, Country Manager of MENA Central

 

For more than 20 years, Mastercard has been a trusted partner and played an instrumental role in driving financial inclusion in Egypt through the power of digital payments. Adam Jones, Country Manager of MENA Central, explains how Mastercard technologies are empowering the country’s digital transformation journey.

  1. Mastercard has been in Egypt for almost 20 years, what can you tell us on the development of the payments landscape in Egypt?

Egypt is going through rapid growth and transformation especially with the launch of vision 2030 and the focus on achieving digital transformation, enhancing financial inclusion and driving the use of electronic payments. For 20 years, Mastercard supported Egypt by connecting all ecosystem stakeholders, providing them with fast, and efficient payment solutions which help build and strengthen the financial ecosystem. 

We work closely with the Egyptian government financial institutions, fintechs and telcos across the country to bring more people into the digital economy.  Mastercard established the national interoperable mobile payment ecosystem and infrastructure currently operating in Egypt, to empower all financial institutions and service providers to contribute to the formal economy via electronic and mobile payment channels

In addition, our contributions to the Egyptian market span from supporting the New Administrative Capital’s development into the country’s first smart city, to championing emerging fintechs through direct investments.

Such efforts fall in line with Mastercard’s global pledge to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025, with a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their business.

  1. In your opinion, what are the current challenges and opportunities when it comes to consumer behaviour and payment methods? 

Egypt is a young nation with over 60% of the population under the age of 30, as well as a high mobile and internet penetration necessary for a young and tech-savvy population.  At the same time, digitization presents a great opportunity to drive diversified and sustainable economic development.

The Mastercard New Payment Index 2022 showed increase in consumer appetite for Digital Payments in Egypt. In addition to being aware of solutions like digital cards, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), consumers in Egypt are increasingly and actively using these solutions in their everyday lives. While traditional payment methods still have traction, 15% of consumers in Egypt indicated they used less cash in the past year. Also, Gen Z and Millennials are less likely to make in-person purchases and payments. They are proactively seeking out new payment methods, with 40% of Gen Z and Millennials likely to have obtained a new touch-free payment method (e.g. Tap to pay card or wearable device) compared to only 26% of Gen X.

Mastercard believes in Egypt’s potential for growth, which is why we have been working closely with the Egyptian government, CBE and different partners, for almost 20 years, through direct investments, partnerships, technical methodologies & solutions, and professional advisory.

  1. How does Mastercard work to facilitate the evolution of payments catering to the changing consumer behaviour?

Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS) was introduced in Egypt in 2016 to facilitate the country’s ambition to lead in eCommerce, setting the foundation for innovative and disruptive digital future and shaping constantly evolving payments landscape. MPGS securely powers digital payments via multiple channels (including online, mobile, in-person and in-app) on behalf of a number of Egyptian acquiring banks, FinTechs, Mobile Network Operators and large merchants. Globally, Mastercard’s gateway technology processes over 5 billion transactions in 170 currencies, via a network of 200 acquiring connections. With the rise of contactless payments, where PoS terminals have switched to ‘Point of Interaction’ it is key to provide consumers with a reliable and consistent payment experience across different channels and MPGS can help businesses achieve it. We are committed to supporting acquirers and merchants with a secure and convenient digital payment technology, expanding our network with new products and services, and removing complexities from the adoption of new payment mechanisms.

  1. What are the recent investments and future plans in the Egyptian market?

At Mastercard, we have a long-standing commitment to accelerate the country’s digital transformation agenda, encourage growth and create opportunities for the Egyptian workforce. This year, we have achieved a number of milestones that attest to our dedication.

We have expanded the Advisors Hub to over 60 experts within three years, with plans to further expand over the next two years. The Advisors Hub started in 2019 with 6 of the best local talents to serve regional and global markets from Egypt. The expert team offers support via real-time data, analysis, consulting, and marketing solutions to provide clients with payment strategies and innovative solutions to help them grow their businesses.

  1. How would you describe Mastercard approach to fintech and the latest trends in Egypt?

Egypt’s fintech landscape is helping to bring more people into the digital economy, with fintechs contributing to this rapid digital transformation making consumers’ lives convenient, simple, and rewarding.

The Mastercard New Payments Index 2022 found that 64% of consumers in Egypt, compared to 61% globally, increased their use of at least one digital payment method in the last year, including digital cards, SMS payments, digital money transfer apps, and instant payment services. 

At Mastercard, we work closely with fintechs to expand the financial digital market in Egypt; and have made strategic and empowering collaborations with fintechs such as Telda, PayMob and MoneyFellows, allowing them to provide their users with seamless digital services and experiences

In addition to our strategic investment in Nclude, a fintech focused VC investment platform, that aims to deepen financial inclusion by investing in promising early-and-growth-stage fintech and fintech-enabled companies. 

  1. SMEs are the backbone of any economy, how can SMEs in Egypt benefit from Mastercard offerings?

Enabling small businesses to sustain themselves and realize opportunities is of paramount importance to us and is of our global pledge to bring 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.

In 2020, Mastercard developed its SME Digital Marketplace to digitize the supply chain in Egypt and provide small businesses access to finance. The initiative promotes financial inclusion by allowing MSMEs to gain access to the digital economy and enables them to access banks to increase their working capital. 

we also launched ‘SME-in-a-Box’, a low-cost payments solution that enables small business owners to move their businesses online and accept a range of digital payments from their customers. The solution aids small and micro merchants to accept touchless payments from their smartphones at no additional hardware costs, expanding their customer base and enabling sustainable revenue growth. 

In addition to the free online cybersecurity toolkit and ‘The Entrepreneur’s Odyssey’ – a first-of-its-kind digital education platform that brings together a range of world-class academic and business resources to help small businesses learn and thrive. 

 

 

Short link: