MasterCard and Blue Label Telecoms have teamed up to offer point of sale terminals to 22,000 small traders and rural shops in South Africa.

Blue Label intends to roll out more than new 15,000 EMV-certified, contactless-ready POS terminals that will allow traders to accept Chip and PIN and contactless payment cards for goods and services. There will also be an upgrade of 7,000 existing terminals used in smaller stores using MasterCard Mobile software.

Blue Label and MasterCard will be aiming the terminals at "spaza" stores – informal convenience stores sometimes located within a home. There are an estimated 10,000 such stores across South Africa.

Mark Levy, joint CEO, Blue Label, said: "Through our partnership with MasterCard, we will introduce many of these businesses to the safety, security, and convenience of electronic payments, enabling financial inclusion in communities where consumers have largely been unable to use formal payment products."

Blue Label currently provides thousands of POS terminals in South Africa, which are used predominantly to sell prepaid vouchers such as airtime and electricity. In the past the terminals have operated on a cash-only basis.

Philip Panaino, South Africa division president, MasterCard, said: "Through the introduction of these solutions that respond directly to the needs of merchants, MasterCard and Blue Label aim to increase the level of penetration of electronic payments in South Africa, and help stimulate economic growth."


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