Partnership will boost financial inclusion in the DRC and demonstrate the benefits of going cashless
To tweet this news, copy and paste: « Heyano #MasterCard Prepaid card launched by @BIACCongo_RDC in #DRC to boost #FinancialInclusion http://news.mstr.cd/1MpgcAE»
Kinshasa, DRC – November 12, 2015: BIAC has announced the launch of the innovative Heyano MasterCard Prepaid card that will allow thousands of citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to use an internationally-accepted financial product.
Developed in close collaboration with MasterCard, an international technology company in the global payments industry, the simple and innovative Heyano prepaid card is aimed at BIAC’s existing customers and those citizens who currently do not have a bank account or access to financial services.
According to estimates from the Central Bank of the DRC last year – just six percent of the country’s citizens currently use a bank or other formal financial services. The launch of the Heyano Prepaid card is therefore a significant step in extending financial inclusion to those citizens who currently do not have access to financial services.
Heyano Prepaid cards are versatile, convenient and are accepted at millions of retail locations and ATMs worldwide, wherever MasterCard products are accepted. They are an ideal payment alternative to cash as they offer an easy, convenient and safe way to pay goods and services. They have globally recognized security features such as an EMV-chip on the card to assure cardholders of quick and secure access to their money whenever they need it.
Heyano Prepaid cards function just like an electronic wallet, eliminating dependence on cash. Cardholders will be able to withdraw cash from ATMs displaying the MasterCard logo, pay for goods at till points in shops, transfer money from one card to another and make international money transfers.
Cardholders are able to safely reload money onto their Heyano Prepaid card when funds are depleted. The card can furthermore be used to make bill payments and to top-up prepaid mobile phone accounts.
“The launch of this new product enables BIAC to expand access to financial services and banking solutions to citizens throughout the country. Thanks to the safety and affordability of Heyano, BIAC now offers a simple, fast and flexible payment method which will contribute to our population’s transition from the informal to the formal economy,” says Michel Losembe, CEO of BIAC.
To meet the needs of BIAC’s extensive customer base including employees, executives, students and pensioners, the Heyano Prepaid card can be used for a number of purposes. For example, it can be used by employers and employees as a “wage” card where wages are preloaded onto the card. This offers cardholders more security when transacting in the country and abroad.
It can also be used as a student card as funds can be preloaded by the student’s family at any time during the year, financially empowering them to manage their finances throughout their studies. Pensions can be securely loaded onto the Heyano Prepaid card, which means pensioners won’t be vulnerable when they collect their money each month, and they don’t need to worry about carrying cash to and from the shops.
“MasterCard continuously works with governments and financial institutions across Africa to drive financial inclusion through the adoption of electronic payments,” says Charlton Goredema, Vice President and Area Business Head, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, MasterCard. “We are proud to have partnered with BIAC to launch the Heyano Prepaid card in the DRC. The new prepaid card enables BIAC customers to make purchases at any retailer that accepts MasterCard payment cards while enjoying the security, safety and convenience of cashless payments.”
“With its extensive network of branches throughout the country and its team of developers, system analysts and strong compliance experts with many years of experience in prepaid solutions, BIAC has the knowledge of the local market and the expertise to launch this program across the country in the best conditions of transparency and security,” concludes Michel Losembe.
Founded in 1970, Banque Internationale pour l’Afrique au Congo (BIAC) belongs to the core of historic banks in the DRC. Today, with a network of 150 branches, including 52 “full service” ones in 16 cities of the country, it holds the most expansive territorial network of the country. It is positioned as the fourth retail bank in the DRC in terms of deposits, and the third in terms of total assets and credits.
Considered a reference in retail banking, BIAC employs 1200 people in the DRC and managed 366,000 accounts at the end of 2014. Strong with total assets of 504,494 million Congolese francs ($ 556 million) it will manage over 400,000 accounts by late 2015. In addition, it controls a 67% market share of the Western Union inflows and is Western Union’s 5th largest African partner. Since 2013, BIAC has initiated a consolidation and growth strategy focused on retail banking and small businesses. www.biac.cd
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