Uber is expanding its long-term partnership with Mastercard with a new strategic initiative focusing on digital payments and advancing financial inclusions which will be facilitated by Mastercard across the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
This comes at the heels of the fintech boom in the regions that is shaping new payment methods, forcing companies to adapt.
As a regional first, the partnership with Mastercard will enable Uber to drive digitization across their business operations, leveraging Mastercard’s single infrastructure to meet all types of payments needs across Uber Rides, Uber Eats, Uber Pass, and Uber for Business.
“Mastercard continues to partner with digital players across the value chain to build a more connected world. Enabling secure, immediate movement of money for individuals in the gig economy workers and customers is especially vital as we support economic recovery efforts. Through our growing partnership, we are enabling the company’s long-term business growth as a result of improved operational efficiencies, driving greater financial inclusion and innovation across the region, and ultimately boosting the growth of digital economy in MEA,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President Market Development, Mastercard, MEA.
The partnership is aimed to boost cashless payments, drive digital payment acceptance, reward loyalty, while supporting Uber’s continued social impact collaboration.
Through the partnership, both companies can bridge the financial inclusion gap through a broad range of efforts. The alliance builds on the existing work between the 2 organizations. The work undertaken with Uber plays a critical role in advancing Mastercard’s commitment to financial inclusion and the company’s pledge to bring a total of 1 bn people, 50 mn MSMBs, and 25 mn women entrepreneurs into the digital economy by 2025.
The Economy 2021 report released by Mastercard notes that the economic impact of COVID-19 has introduced permanent changes in digital consumer spending habits, growth of online banking, fintech disruption and opportunities to boost financial inclusion.
Through the partnership, both companies can bridge the financial inclusion gap through a broad range of efforts.
Last year, Uber in South Africa launched a product called Uber Pass, which will now be available across most cities in MEA, with Mastercard becoming a key distribution partner to help drive adoption.
Tino Waked, Regional General Manager, Middle East & Africa, Uber, says: “This is the largest partnership for us across MEA, and we are proud to be working together to bring key financial solutions to driver-partners across MEA. Driver’s well-being is a top priority and putting opportunities they want within reach is important to us.”
This new partnership builds on existing work between the two organizations. In a joint initiative last year, Mastercard committed 120,000 free trips and meals to those supporting communities across the Middle East and Africa, which was facilitated through Uber. This strategic partnership between Mastercard and Uber spans across the region and through key partnerships, supported cities, hospitals, front line workers and marginalized communities with free rides and meals.
While vaccines are a reality, communities are still in need of various support. Mastercard and Uber remain committed to helping people around the world navigate these challenging times and stand ready to support cities whether it be logistics or free rides.
The work undertaken with Uber plays a key role in advancing Mastercard’s worldwide commitment to financial inclusion and the company’s pledge to bring a total of 1 billion people, 50 million micro and small businesses, and 25 million women entrepreneurs into the digital economy by 2025.
MasterCard has been leveraging on partnership to increase its market share globally, tapping on every firm with access to a huge payment market. However, this move underscores the flurry by payment giants to lead the competition in Africa.
In February, MasterCard announced a new partnership with South African telecom giant, MTN. The partnership is to be facilitated through a MasterCard virtual payment solution linked to MTN MoMo (Mobile Money) wallets, to help consumers and merchants engage with brands and businesses abroad through digital commerce, extending their reach to an international marketplace and unlocking a host of opportunities.
Last week, MasterCard got involved with Airtel Mobile Commerce with an investment worth $100 million that will give the payment firm a minority stake in Airtel Mobile Commerce.