Licence will boost MasterCard payment card acceptance among merchants, particularly Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

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LAGOS, 23 April 2015 – MasterCard today granted an acquiring license to Unified Payment Service Limited (Unified Payments) a leading Payments Service Provider in a move that is expected to broadly increase the acceptance of MasterCard payment cards in Nigeria.

Unified Payments operates as a shared infrastructure for the Nigerian banking community to enable a wide range of merchants to accept electronic payments. Thanks to this acquiring license, merchants using Unified Payment’s e-payments services will be able to accept local and international MasterCard and other branded payment cards without needing to operate multiple Point of Sale (POS) terminals.

“Our collaboration with Unified Payments is another step by MasterCard towards realizing our vision of a world beyond cash,” saysOmokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President and Area Business Head, MasterCard in West Africa. “Through this partnership, we will introduce merchants – many of which are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises – to all the benefits associated with MasterCard acceptance, while providing our more than two billion cardholders with even more locations at which to use their MasterCard payment cards.”

Research carried out by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency and the National Bureau of Statistics shows that MSMEs represent 95% of registered businesses in Nigeria and account for 75% of the workforce. However, nearly 98 percent of all MSME payments are still made with cash, according to MasterCard research.

As the acceptance of electronic payments is enhanced, these business owners can increase their revenue, enjoy better access to capital, be able to better manage and track their spending, save for future needs and protect themselves against unforeseen risks.

This partnership supports MasterCard’s broader strategy of working with a wide range of traditional and non-traditional partners including the government, merchants, telecommunication companies and others to increase the adoption and usage of electronic payments, and help stimulate economic growth in Nigeria.

“We are delighted to work with a global leader in payments technology, MasterCard, and to leverage the MasterCard brand to enhance merchant services in Nigeria,” says Babatunde  Okeniyi, Director Marketing and Sales , at Unified Payments . “Through this partnership, we have once again added to the list of ‘firsts’ in providing leadership and exceptional innovations that have contributed immensely to the growth of payments in Nigeria.”

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About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com,is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate 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, @MasterCardMEA, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About Unified Payments Services Limited (UPSL)

Unified Payment Services Limited otherwise known as Unified Payments® is a card-neutral and option-neutral Payments Service Provider founded in 1997 and owned by a consortium of leading Nigerian banks. Unified Payments prides itself in Leadership & Innovations in Payments being the first Nigerian organisation to (i) be licensed as Principal Member of a global payment scheme (ii) Acquire EMV transactions (iii) be certified as EMV 3PP Processor; and (iv) acquire and process transactions based on Near-Field-Communication (NFC) technology. Unified Payments® operates as a shared infrastructure for the banking community in Nigeria and Payments Service Provider within and outside Nigeria, with a mission to be the most preferred e-payment service provider in Africa. Formerly known as ValuCard Nigeria Limited, the name of the Company was changed in 2012 to reflect its new business, following a successful transformation from a domestic card scheme to a provider of payment services supporting different payment options and schemes.

 

Media Contacts

Birgit Deibele

MasterCard

Birgit_deibele@mastercard.com

 

Ore Runsewe

Hill+Knowlton Strategies Nigeria

ore.runsewe@hkstrategies.com.ng