South African digital fintech platform provider Ukheshe has inked a deal with Mastercard to acquire its payments technology provider Oltio.

Oltio is the developer of the digital payments platform powering Mastercard’s QR payment service in South Africa named ‘Masterpass’, which allows users to scan and pay using their mobile phone.

Mastercard acquired Oltio from Standard Bank Group in March 2018.

Ukheshe is a participant in Mastercard’s Accelerate programme – including Start Path and Fintech Express.

This programme will allow Ukheshe to use Mastercard’s technology, data, and its network of corporate clients and fintechs to boost its operations globally.

In a statement, Ukheshe said that it will “continue to provide the same support to the banks and other service providers that currently offer Masterpass, ensuring business continuity with no impact to consumers or merchants.”

Oltio’s acquisition is also set to bolster the existing partnership between Ukheshe and Mastercard.

Masterpass is currently accepted by more than 300,000 merchants and billers.

Financial details of the transaction were not made public. The transaction is expected to complete by the end of this year.

Ukheshe CEO Clayton Hayward said: “Digital-first solutions for consumers remain a key priority.

“By enabling different customer segments as part of our ongoing partnership with Mastercard, Ukheshe is well placed to continue providing fintechs, telcos and banks with payment solutions, and services that will further deepen financial inclusion in South Africa.”

Mastercard South Africa country manager Suzanne Morel said: “Today’s news builds on the momentum of our QR work in South Africa and deepens our collaboration with fintechs.

“We look forward to combining our global network with Ukheshe’s local understanding of consumer and SME pain points to provide consumers and businesses with safe and seamless payment experiences.”