MasterCard has migrated two million Vodafone Cash mobile wallets to its open mobile payments ecosystem.
The move comes as part of MasterCard’s partnership with mobile network operator Vodafone Egypt. It will enable MasterCard to power Vodafone Egypt mobile money service, Vodafone Cash, by processing all financial transactions through its Mobile Payment Gateway platform.
Leveraging on the high penetration of mobile phones in Egypt, the platform will facilitate all types of transactions and a range of services to Vodafone Cash customers.
MasterCard said that irrespective of the service network, platform or device, customers can now pay their bills, recharge their phones, send money, deposit or withdraw cash from any ATM, transact securely online using a virtual credit number, transfer money to any other mobile wallet in Egypt. They can also make payments using their mobile phones at select merchant locations throughout the country and access a number of government services with ease.
MasterCard Middle East and North Africa division president Khalid Elgibali said: "The collaboration with Vodafone Egypt is a significant milestone in the direction of scaling Egypt’s mobile ecosystem, and affirms the interoperability concept that MasterCard introduced in the Egyptian market.
"The deal will help MasterCard accelerate our cash conversion cycles and support the execution of our new consumer strategy by adding 5 million new consumers during the year. Most of all, it creates further opportunities for MasterCard to use its technology and innovation to include more unbanked Egyptians in the financial mainstream and in the process help develop the industry at large and increase economic mobility."
Vodafone Egypt CEO Ahmed Essam said: "Egypt has a mobile penetration rate exceeding 100 percent, yet more than 85 percent of the country’s population lack access to formal banking products. This reflects a huge opportunity for Vodafone, the largest player in Egypt’s telecom market, to work with payments and technology industry leaders like MasterCard, harness the power of mobile technologies and bring unbanked and underbanked individuals into the formal financial sector."