Mastercard: Making the shift to digital payments
Accessibility to practical financial solutions is key to shifting Africa’s dependency on cash, and with the continued adoption of mobile devices on the continent, we envisage this technology becoming an even more important tool that will connect people to the formal financial sector.
According to recent research, delivering financial services by mobile phone could add an approximate $3.7 trillion to these economies in the next decade. Mobile payments are expected to continue growing steadily. In a recent report by GMSA both South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa were highlighted as they accounted for 85 percent of all new mobile money accounts opened in 2015.
With this in mind, mobile has long been a focus of ours, with the introduction of Masterpass in markets such as South Africa being recognised as a bold move forward in the digital payments space. Our latest enhancement, Masterpass QR is seen as the next evolution in mobile payment technology. In a landmark deal with the Ecobank Group, Masterpass QR will be rolled out to 33 markets in a move to connect with 100 million customers by 2020. Nigeria will be the first to go live with the solution.
With mobile phone penetration expected to continue growing, investment in mobile payment solutions will mirror this trend as they have the potential to lower the cost of providing financial services by as much as 90 percent. When you consider the opportunities this presents in empowering the under and unbanked, it is clear that deeper investment needs to be made in the digital finance sector.
Digital finance, without a doubt, remains an important topic – one that will be highlighted during my panel discussion at this year’s Money20/20 in Las Vegas, the world’s foremost payments and financial services innovation event. The focus of the panel is on what emerging markets can teach the United States about financial inclusion initiatives. The most important lesson in developing pioneering solutions lies in maximising the use of mobile devices - the majority of people’s constant companion.
The Masterpass QR solution not only addresses challenges with the acceptance of electronic payments in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), it guarantees consumers a secure and seamless way of paying for online and in-store purchases by scanning a Quick Response (QR) code displayed at checkout on their smartphones, or by entering a merchant identifier into their feature phones.
And historically, these smaller merchants have struggled with the cost of installing payment infrastructure such as point-of-sale devices, as well as with issues of security surrounding payment. Masterpass QR helps them to overcome these challenges in a simple and user-friendly manner.
We understand that digital finance is crucial for the growth of economies in Africa, which is why we continue to forge meaningful partnerships that help to deliver smart digital solutions. Africa is at the forefront of innovation, with more people seeing the benefits of technology in their daily lives, therefore the introduction of Masterpass QR will help people transition to a more secure and convenient way of paying.
According to an African proverb, “If the rhythm of the drum beat changes, the dance steps must adapt.” A digital rhythm is pervading Africa and Masterpass is our adaptive dance steps.
Daniel Monehin is the Division President for Mastercard, sub-Saharan Africa.
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.