Mastercard has forged a strategic partnership with Network International to launch a digital platform to boost digital payments adoption in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

The new digital payments platform is launching this month.

It will allow Network International clients to enable mobile-based payments for the end consumers and merchants.

Merchants can accept multiple payment types, including USSD, QR code, point-of-sale (POS) and e-commerce, from wallets and ‘Tap on Phone’ contactless card payments technology.

The ‘Tap on Phone’ payment method will be available later this year.

Banks and payment issuers can provide consumers with digital wallets, P2P payments, and Virtual cards, using the new platform.

Additionally, financial institutions can offer a range of Mastercard products as well.

The platform is set to launch in 40 African countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa initially, and then across the entire MEA region in the coming months.

Network International Group Head of Product & Innovation Paul Clarke added. “Our partnership with Mastercard is focused on rapidly growing electronic payment usage across our region and this initiative is a major foundational step in meeting that goal.

“We believe the launch of this platform is the first in a series of steps towards delivering simplified, collaborative payment solutions across the payments value chain in the Middle East and Africa.

“We have plans to grow the platforms’ capabilities so that we can help our joint customers, large and small, accelerate the move from cash to digital solutions.”

Mastercard MEA SVP of product management, digital payments & labs Gaurang Shah said: “Mastercard’s trusted, secure technology will be available to more people through this digital platform and we are very proud to activate this important initiative with Network International as our long-term strategic partner.”