FILE PHOTO: Illustration photo of a Mastercard logo on a credit card. Global fintech group Mastercard on Tuesday announced a partnership with Zambia's National Association of Saving and Credit Unions.

JOHANNESBURG - Global fintech group Mastercard on Tuesday announced a partnership with Zambia's National Association of Saving and Credit Unions (Nascu), which will see the introduction of a secure payment system to streamline and automate payments to its savings and credit cooperative members.

The partnership aims to drive financial inclusion by extending formal financial products and services to underserved members of cooperatives.

Under this agreement, Nascu will introduce a secure, efficient and transparent electronic payment system to streamline and automate payments including payroll, loans, and disbursements to its savings and credit cooperative members. It will also issue 1.5 million Mastercard contactless debit payment cards to its members over the next five years, providing them with a convenient electronic payment tool to receive and make safe and simple payments for everyday commerce activities.

The initiative is seen as a fundamental building block in developing a modernised and inclusive payments ecosystem in Zambia. With Mastercard’s wide acceptance footprint, cardholders will be able to securely transact around the world at any point of sale or ATM that accepts Mastercard. 

Mark Elliott, division president of Mastercard Southern Africa, said this collaboration with Nascu represented a major step forward in their strategy to create a cashless society and build an inclusive financial sector that supports the socio-economic development of the country.

"Savings and Credit unions provide a vital role in connecting the underserved to financial services and the formal economy," Elliot said.

William Kanyika, managing director of Nascu, said: "By electronifying our payments system, we can better understand our cooperative members’ behaviours and needs, in turn allowing us to deliver better quality products and services in support of the government’s vision to deliver financial services to every citizen in the country."

- African News Agency (ANA)