Access Bank Partners Mastercard to Expand Cross-border Payments, Boost Financial Inclusion across Africa


Emma Okonji and Nume Ekeghe

In a bid to expand and enhance cross-border payments, Access Bank has partnered Mastercard to launch a unified cross-border money movement solution across various African markets that will enable businesses and consumers to send and receive international payments to and from across more than 150 countries.

The partnership, which was announced in Lagos, will enable Access Bank to further push its AccessAfrica payment platform beyond Africa, to boost financial inclusion.   

The collaboration underlines both organisations’ commitment to the African economy by providing a financially inclusive solution that optimises liquidity and capital in the markets and reduces international transaction costs incurred by businesses and consumers while making and receiving international payments.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank, Chizoma Okoli,  said: “Our partnership with MasterCard indicates our focus on ensuring that we give our customers the required service they need and deserve. At Access Bank, we continue to look for partnerships that would support us in achieving our dreams and goals.”

Senior Advisory, Retail Banking, Access Bank, Robert Giles said: “We are thrilled to collaborate with Mastercard to advance financial inclusion in Africa through the Access Africa initiative. By combining our strengths, we can unlock new opportunities, bridge the financial divide, and create a more inclusive and prosperous future for all Africans.” 

Also speaking, the Division President for Africa at Mastercard, Mark Elliott said: “Empowering Access Bank customers with innovative solutions that prioritize choice, security, and flexibility is an achievement that fills us with great pride. This collaboration signifies our commitment to transforming payment experiences as it not only brings cutting-edge payment solutions to the bank’s diverse clientele, but also extends the reach of Mastercard’s financial and digital ecosystem, ensuring millions from underserved communities can actively participate in the evolving financial and digital economy.”

Country Manager, West Africa, Mastercard, Folasade Femi-Lawal, said the partnership would address challenges in cross-border payments like failed transactions and delays in completing transactions, with the intent to further boost financial inclusion across African markets. 

Fable Fintech, an Express Partner of the Mastercard Move Partner Programme, is the technical implementation partner of the solution, effectively collaborating with both Access Africa and Mastercard Move experts.

Cross-border remittances continue to play an important role in Africa’s economy, with flows to Sub-saharan Africa increasing by approximately 1.9 per cent in 2023 to $54 billion as a result of strong remittance growth in Mozambique, Rwanda and Ethiopia, with Nigeria accounting for 38 per cent of the remittance flows. In 2024, remittance flows to the region are projected to increase by 2.5 per cent. 

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