Zemen, Mastercard link again to modernize payment systems

Zemen Bank joins the international gateway system of the dominant player Mastercard registering a second partnership with the global company.
The two parties which introduced Ethiopia’s first prepaid and contactless travel card last year, are now launching the Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS) for the first time in the country.
At the launching ceremony held at Sheraton Addis, officials of the two companies stated that the new scheme will contribute its part to the national digital strategy which the country curved to attain by 2025.
In its statement, Zemen Bank said that the payment platform combined with MPGS’ provides Zemen customers with an ultimate payment choice that brings payments straight to where the customers are at their accessible digital payment mode. Moreover, the service is said to enable payments across a variety of channels, including web/e-commerce, mail-order/telephone order, and call center/IVR, mobile/m-commerce.
Mastercard’s MPGS is also allowing the country to expand its hard currency earnings that flow through regular channels rather than informal and illegal system.
Mark Elliott, Division President of Mastercard for Sub Sahara Africa, said that the deployment of MPGS supports the tourism sector and hospitality industry and at the same time those visiting the country need not carry cash since the new system creates conducive solution to allow them to pay without cash.
Seyfesilase Meaza, Head of IT Division at Zemen Bank, said that the new partnership is crucial for e-commerce, stating, “it has big value for e-commerce transaction.”
He said that the first partnership that the two parties entered into, that is, the contactless travel card, has helped to play a pivotal role to take this new project at a faster pace.
Dereje Zebene, President of Zemen Bank highlighted that the benefits of the platform include – but are not limited to the efficient online buying process, cost reduction, contactless (no personal interaction needed between buyer and seller), broaden customer base with flexible payment option and acceptance of debit, credit or prepaid cards of both Mastercard and VISA schemes.
Airlines, hotels, travel and tour operators, delivery service providers, and small and medium business enterprises (SME) will benefit from the platform.
He stated that the scheme is crucial for fintech companies that are growing in the country.
“Hotel e-booking and payment, reservation and payment for air ticket shall be conducted through the new scheme that allows users to get lesser price service since they are directly booking their ticket to airlines rather than through agents, who add up their commissions for the service,” explained Seyfesilase whilst speaking on the merits of MPGS.
He added that in the e-commerce operation, customers shall use their card to conduct the payment directly since it is supported by the payment gateway.
According to the bank officials, the scheme also allows for interoperability with the birr besides foreign currency.
Division President of Mastercard said that Ethiopia is a predominantly cash-based society and such kinds of initiatives lead to boosting the modern payment system in the country. The division president also appreciated Zemen for taking the leading role in modernizing the payment system.

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