UBA Partners MasterCard to Ease Payments by SMEs

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Obinna Chima

The pan-African financial services institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA), in partnership with MasterCard International has released a revolutionary solution to one of the critical challenges being faced by small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and micro small businesses in Nigeria and across Africa, with the introduction of UBA MasterPass QR Bot, which will ensure faster and easier payment for goods and services provided by these important economic groups.

MasterPass QR Bot is part of UBA’s efforts targeted at supporting SMEs, which remains a critical catalyst for the overall development of the continent’s economies. It is also in line with the bank’s vision to create a sustainable and all-inclusive solution to the digital needs of businesses and individuals on the African continent.

Specifically, this revolutionary solution developed by MasterCard International in partnership with Facebook will also enable small businesses in Nigeria and across Africa to receive digital payments from their customers through scanning, using their Facebook accounts and, Master Pass ‘Quick Response’ (QR).

More importantly, with the UBA’s MasterPass QR, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) will enjoy zero cost of enrollment, as they do not have to pay to enroll, while transaction costs will remain at par with existing charges used at PoS.

Apart from assuring the freedom to shop across devices and channels, UBA’s MasterPass QR will revolutionise payment by democratising the payment process, thereby eliminating a key challenge that merchants currently face, which is payment for goods and services beyond their current location.

UBA Masterpass QR enables merchants, small and informal micro merchants, large corporates and governments pay and receive payments for goods and services using mobile phones. It also allows payment collection by SMEs through Facebook Messenger, delivering unified and instant self-service across a range of interconnected payment solutions.

Throwing more light on this priceless solution, UBA’s Group Executive, Digital & Consumer Banking, Mr. Anant Rao, said: “Our customers are at the heart of our business, that’s why we keep going the extra mile to satisfy them. As we very well know that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contribute significantly to the economy but remain heavily dependent on cash to run their business; however, consumers are demanding safer and more convenient ways to pay. The innovative new platform enables micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria receive digital payments from millions of customers by simply scanning.”

He noted that access to mobile technology presents an opportunity to meet this demand, and the new UBA Masterpass QR Merchant App is set to change the payment landscape to the benefits of micro merchants across the country.

Rao further explained that, banking is going conversational and UBA in partnership with Facebook is at the forefront of driving this innovation globally. “It is 100% self-service and generation of the QR is immediate. Acceptance of payments can begin immediately the QR is generated, it is making banking simple.”

The announcement follows the commitment made by UBA to introduce safer and more convenient ways to pay for goods and services in Nigeria and across the African continent.

“As a group, we are committed to driving financial inclusion and empowering businesses across Africa. Our partnership with Mastercard enables us to deploy safe digital solutions for customers, and the UBA Masterpass QR Merchant App is just such a solution,” said Rao.

Rao confirmed that UBA will be working with other Mastercard partners that are experts in their respective fields thereby further supporting the local industry.

“By using Masterpass, our customers can know with confidence that they are paying with trusted technology, whether they are a small business buying equipment at an office supply store or a family of four dining at their favourite neighbourhood restaurant,” he said.

Earlier this year, UBA launched a chat banking personality named LEO that enables its customers make use of their Facebook chat function to carry out key banking transactions.

LEO helps customers open new accounts, receive instant transaction notifications, check their balances on the go, transfer funds and airtime top up. You can also confirm cheques, pay bills, apply for loans, freeze accounts, ask for mini statements, among other things and even check the weather.

The introduction of MasterPass QR Bot is coming on the heels of the recent agreements reached between United Bank for Africa Plc and Agence Française de Development (AFD), France’s public and solidarity-based development bank, to utilise the EURIZ and ARIZ schemes offered by AFD to facilitate the financing of the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises and startups across the 20 countries where UBA operates in Africa.

Also, earlier in the year, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and China Development Bank (CDB), the world’s largest development finance institution signed a letter of intent for a $100 million seven-year loan agreement to finance the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

UBA, Africa’s global bank, is one of the largest commercial banks incorporated in Nigeria which operates in 19 African countries whilst providing a wide range of products and services. UBA is a leading bank in infrastructure financing particularly in the Power, Telecoms and Transport sectors. UBA leads in social infrastructure provision such as hospitals and education facilities to various countries in Africa. In Nigeria, the bank operates in each of the country’s 36 states, helping to deepen financial inclusion through its brick and mortar network as well as through its cutting edge digital platforms. Globally, UBA has over 1,000 branches and customer touch points, serving over 14 million customers.