Access Bank

Access Bank Group and Mastercard join forces to expand opportunities for cross-border payments for African businesses and consumers

  • Mastercard and Access Bank Group have launched a unified cross-border money movement solution across various African markets, enabling businesses and consumers to send and receive international payments to and from 150+ countries.
  • Access Bank will provide a fast, assured-value, transparent and traceable payment origination and delivery solution at competitive rates and with a greater choice to the customer.
  • Collaboration underlines both organizations’ commitment to the African economy by providing a financially inclusive solution that optimizes liquidity and capital in the markets and reduces international transaction costs incurred by businesses and consumers while making and receiving international payments.

A leading multinational bank, Access Bank Group, has today launched an innovative solution in collaboration with Mastercard to expand access to cross-border payments and remittances to and from the continent, bringing Africa closer to the global economy.

By leveraging the network and treasury capabilities of Mastercard Move, Access Bank, through its cutting-edge Access Africa platform, shall empower individuals and businesses to enjoy instant, traceable, seamless, and cost-effective international transactions.

Effective today, the newly launched solution will be operational across Africa, with expansion plans in place for further penetration across the continent.

The solution offers a global gateway for businesses and individuals that are leveraging Access Bank Group’s deep understanding of the African markets and forward-looking vision that aims to realise customers aspirations through innovative product sets.

Stitching together Mastercard’s multiple complementary network assets and the treasury capabilities of Mastercard Move, this collaboration offers customers more choices with their payment means.

Cross-border remittances continue to play an important role in Africa’s economy, with flows to Sub-Saharan Africa increasing by approximately 1.9% in 2023 to $54 billion as a result of strong remittance growth in Mozambique, Rwanda and Ethiopia, with Nigeria accounting for 38% of the remittance flows.

In 2024, remittance flows to the region are projected to increase by 2.5%. B2B Cross Border payments serve as a lifeline to a large section of businesses who are reliant on regional and international trade to fuel the growth of the African economies.

Speaking at a joint press conference today, Chizoma Okoli, the group deputy managing director, Access Bank, said that Access Bank’s partnership with Mastercard is a testament to the strong alliance between the two organisations notable for innovation and customer-centered approach.

Meanwhile, Access Bank and Mastercard have partnered on several initiatives, including the National Identity Smart Cards, Live B3ta, Prepaid cards, Access Pay and more.

“The unified cross-border money movement solution we are launching today cuts across various African markets where Access Bank operates, and we are working in compliance with the regulatory requirements of each of these countries. Access Bank remains a regulatory compliant entity. Our customers should expect speedy transactions through the unified cross-border money movement solution, like we have done with other solutions,” Okoli added.

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

Customers in Access Bank’s operating countries in Africa, are now enabled to send and receive cross-border payments globally through to and from various channels including bank accounts, mobile wallets, cards, and cash.

“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,” adds Mark Elliott, Division President for Africa at Mastercard.Folasade Femi-Lawal, the country manager for West Africa at Mastercard said that Mastercard’s partnership-led approach has helped the company establish a strong presence in West Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

She added that with Access Bank on board, the customers will enjoy Mastercard cross-border services which allow individuals and businesses to send and receive money securely to 90% of the world’s population.

According to her, the service is part of the Mastercard Move portfolio of money movement capabilities, which can move money domestically and internationally to various endpoints, including bank accounts, digital wallets, cards, and cash.

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

Naushad Contractor, Co-Founder and CEO of Fable Fintech added: “We were fortunate to be the fulcrum of the seamless multi-country integration of one of the largest banks in Africa using the network and resilience of Mastercard’s cross-border assets. We look forward to working on more innovative solutions that will empower the lives of African customers and businesses.”

This groundbreaking collaboration represents a significant step towards creating a more inclusive financial ecosystem in Africa, with both parties determined to continue actively leveraging their collective strengths, resources, and expertise to drive meaningful change and financial inclusion for millions across the continent.

L-R: Robert Giles, Senior Banking Advisor, Retail, Access Bank; Folasade Femi-Lawal, Country Manager, West Africa, Mastercard; Rosevelt Ogbonna, Group managing Director, Access Bank; Mark Elliott, Division President, Africa, Mastercard, Chizoma Okoli, Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank; and Seyi Kumapayi, Executive Director, African subsidiaries , at the Mastercard and Access Bank Cross-Border Payments Solution Media Briefing on May 8, 2024, in Lagos, Nigeria.
Access Bank Group and Mastercard join forces to expand opportunities for cross-border payments for African businesses and consumers
L-R: Onur Kursun, Executive Vice President & Head of Transfer Solutions, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Mastercard; Funmi Afolabi, Group Head, Payment and Remittances, Access Bank; Robert Giles, Senior Banking Advisor, Retail, Access Bank; Chizoma Okoli, Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank; Mark Elliott, Division President, Africa, Mastercard, and Folasade Femi-Lawal, Country Manager, West Africa, Mastercard, at the Mastercard and Access Bank Cross-Border Payments Solution Media Briefing on May 8, 2024, in Lagos, Nigeria
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