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Fund transfers in Africa mark the beginning of a new era with Mastercard and Access Bank Group

In an unprecedented collaboration, Access Bank Group, a leading multinational bank, and Mastercard, a global payment technology company, have joined forces to reshape cross-border payments for African businesses and consumers. This partnership leverages Mastercard’s extensive network and treasury capabilities, along with Access Bank’s innovative Access Africa platform, to unlock new opportunities for financial transactions across the continent.

With the goal of enhancing financial inclusion and strengthening Africa’s integration into the global economy, this initiative will substantially reduce transaction costs and establish secure and transparent payment channels throughout Africa.

Mastercard brings its expansive global network and cutting-edge financial technology solutions to the forefront, including the highly acclaimed Mastercard Move system, which streamlines treasury operations across borders. Access Bank, meanwhile, contributes its deep market understanding and the groundbreaking Access Africa platform, designed to facilitate seamless and instantaneous financial transactions.

A pivotal role in implementing this collaboration was played by Fable Fintech, an Express Partner of the Mastercard Move Partner Program, ensuring seamless integration across multiple countries and enhancing service reliability and reach.

Mark Elliott, Division President for Africa at Mastercard, expressed pride in empowering Access Bank customers with innovative solutions prioritizing choice, security, and flexibility. This partnership not only delivers cutting-edge payment solutions to the bank’s diverse clientele but also extends the reach of Mastercard’s financial and digital ecosystem, enabling millions from underserved communities to actively participate in the evolving financial and digital economy.

In a parallel endeavor, Access Bank Group and Mastercard target the African remittance market. Leveraging the Mastercard Move Partner Programme, a global community of technology innovators collaborating for success in digital payments worldwide, Access Bank aims to broaden access to cross-border payments and remittances across Africa. Through its Access Africa platform, the bank empowers individuals and businesses, offering instant, traceable, seamless, and cost-effective international transactions.

This innovative solution is already operational across Africa, with plans for further penetration into the continent underway. 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.

The collaboration between Access Bank Group, Mastercard, and Fable Fintech presents a global gateway for businesses and individuals, leveraging Access Bank’s profound understanding of African markets and its forward-looking vision to realize customer aspirations through innovative product sets. By combining Mastercard’s complementary network assets with the treasury capabilities of Mastercard Move, this partnership provides customers with a broader range of payment options.

Cross-border remittances play a vital role in Africa’s economy, with flows to sub-Saharan Africa increasing by approximately 1.9% in 2023, reaching a staggering $54 billion. In 2024, remittance flows to the region are projected to increase by 2.5%. B2B Cross-Border payments serve as a lifeline for many businesses reliant on regional and international trade to fuel the growth of African economies.

Robert Giles, Senior Advisory for Retail Banking at Access Bank, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration with Mastercard, emphasizing their joint commitment to advancing financial inclusion in Africa through the Access Africa initiative. By combining their strengths, the two organizations aim to unlock new opportunities, bridge the financial divide, and create a more inclusive and prosperous future for all Africans.

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