Dedicated office inaugurated in Doha to support robust market growth in Qatar

TWEET: #MasterCard expands geographical presence in the Middle East with new office in Doha, #Qatar http://bit.ly/U5gfJX

Doha, 23 January, 2013 – In line with its commitment to expand its presence in the Middle East and Africa region and extend seamless support to customers, global payments and technology company MasterCard has today announced the official opening of its dedicated office in Qatar’s capital, Doha.

The announcement was made at a launch event that was held in Doha on 23 January and was hosted by Michael Miebach, president, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide.

The launch of MasterCard’s office in Doha follows a series of recent successful product launches by several leading financial institutions in Qatar working in close collaboration with MasterCard. These associations have led to the development of highly innovative payment solutions, most notably the MasterCard PayPass™ payments program, which enables customers to make payments by simply tapping their contactless card, key fob or cell phone on a point-of-sale terminal reader. MasterCard’s PayPass contactless payment network now boasts nearly 550,000 merchant locations in 48 countries as of Q3 2012.

Commenting on the launch of MasterCard’s office in Doha, Michael Miebach said, “Over the last two decades, MasterCard has been at the forefront of advancing electronic payments in the Middle East and Africa from debit, credit and prepaid cards, to emerging payments such as contactless and mobile payment solutions. Our geographical presence and market position have witnessed sustained growth and today with the launch of our office in Doha, we have achieved yet another significant milestone.”

He further added, “Ranked as the world’s richest country with a projected per capita income of more than $ 113,000 by end of 2013, Qatar is fast emerging as a regional and global commercial hub that offers abundant growth opportunities across diverse industry sectors including banking and finance. Our valued customers in Qatar have shown phenomenal initiative to introduce the latest payment solutions and we are confident that with our strong understanding of local market trends and the ability to develop highly innovative and customized payment solutions, we are well poised to lead the growth of electronic payments in Qatar.”

Shashank Srivastava, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority, said: “We are delighted to welcome the opening of MasterCard’s offices in Qatar. The QFC Authority granted MasterCard a license to operate in Qatar in June 2012 and we are happy to see that they now have a full team operating on the ground.” He added “MasterCard joins an ever-growing number of local and international firms which have decided to tap into the Qatari growing financial services industry, benefiting from the Qatar Financial Centre’s world class tax, regulatory and legal environment.”

MasterCard established its regional headquarters in Dubai in 1986 and the company has been at the forefront of introducing innovative payment solutions across the region over the last 26 years.  Expanding its geographical presence in the emerging markets of the Middle East and Africa region is a strategic priority for MasterCard, which has now established offices in Dubai, Riyadh, Doha, Cairo, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi.

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About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the conversation on Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

Contacts:

Sami Lahoud

Middle East and Africa Communications, +971 56 216 9273, sami_lahoud@mastercard.com

Rawan Lutfi

GolinHarris Dubai, +971 4 332 3308, rlutfi@golinharris.com