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MasterCard unveils first SME acceptance programme in Nigeria


Omokehinde Ojomuyide,

Omokehinde Ojomuyide,

MASTERCARD has launched Nigeria’s first Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME)-focused Acceptance Development Programme that will extend the security and convenience of electronic payments to merchants and their customers, who previously depended on cash to transact.

To kick-off the programme, MasterCard is partnering with First Bank of Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to roll out hundreds of Mobile Point of Sales (MPOS) devices to retailers.

The retailers would include Fast Moving Consumer Goods outlets, grocers and leading online stores, allowing them to process debit, prepaid and credit card transactions by using a smartphone connected to a secure card reader.

Vice-President and Area Business Head, MasterCard, West Africa, Omokehinde Ojomuyide, said MSMEs are an important sector in the Nigerian economy, representing 95 per cent of registered businesses in Nigeria.

“However, nearly 98 percent of all MSME transactions are still made with cash. Using innovative payment technology, this program will help MSMEs reduce the costs of cash, increase sales, grow their customer base and improve cash flow, while making it easier and safer for their customers to pay”, she added.

MasterCard explained that the MPOS solution comprises a payments application and a physical card reader with a secure PIN pad for PIN entry that connects to the merchant’s smartphone using Bluetooth.

This negates the need for merchants to access a fixed data or telephone line, and helps them to overcome connectivity challenges as the devices use a range of data connectivity options including EDGE, 2G, 3G, and 4G.

They also adhere to the ‘CHIP and PIN’ certifications mandated in Nigeria, meaning consumers can be assured that their transactions are safe and secure.

To further encourage MSMEs to adopt electronic payments, MasterCard is working with MPOS solution providers to introduce a range of value added services including loyalty programmes, air-time top up, person-to-person remittances, bill payments, inventory control and others. These services will enable merchants to grow their revenues and increase efficiencies.

“The rapid growth of smartphones in Nigeria provides a huge opportunity for innovation across all industries – especially in payments,” said Ojomuyide.

She stressed that the program uses smart technology that transforms mobile devices into tools of commerce, and delivers services that will benefit all stakeholders in the payments ecosystem.

“It also supports the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cashless Nigeria policy, and will help this vital sector to connect more efficiently to the national and global economy,” she added.

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