Mastercard will use Facebook Messenger to provide technology to small businesses in Africa and Asia.
Affordable acceptance of electronic and mobile payments will help these businesses to expand to new markets.
Mastercard, as part of its fintech strategy, will pilot a new Masterpass QR bot in Nigeria to help business owners to move beyond cash transactions to accepting QR payments. Ecobank and Zenith Bank, which have long term plans, will support Mastercard’s inaugural program.
Of the $301 billion of funds flows from consumers to businesses in Nigeria, 98 percent is still based on cash, according to research done by The Fletcher School and Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.
“By offering QR-based digital payments, smaller retailers can achieve these goals and create greater customer stickiness with little to no investment beyond the phone they already have,” said Jorn Lambert, executive vice president, Digital Channels and Regions, Mastercard.
Businesses can send a request to the bot to enable QR payments, receive approval from the bank, set up an account and start accepting digital payments in a fast, simple and secure manner.
Business owners can print and display the QR code in their stores or save the code on their phones. Customers can pay by either scanning the code from their smartphone or by entering the merchant ID associated with the QR code into their feature phone.
“Brands and developers around the world are turning to messaging to connect with the 1.3 billion people who use Messenger each month,” said Kahina Van Dyke, director of Payments and Financial Services Partnerships at Facebook.
Masterpass QR provides mobile phone users the ability to accept and make in-person purchases without cash or a plastic card. It provides choice in payments and complements Mastercard’s investment in contactless payments.
Meanwhile, Visa announced an expansion of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative (VEI) for 2018 with new participating countries.
Visa’s Everywhere Initiative will begin 2018 with a broader approach that presents program participants with challenges unique to each region and propel digital commerce solutions.