Lusaka, Zambia – 15 March 2019: The National Savings Bank (NatSave) and Mastercard have signed a strategic partnership agreement, which will see the bank rollout Mastercard Chip and PIN prepaid and debit cards to provide its customers with a safer and more convenient alternative to transacting with cash. This is in line with the government’s goal of creating an inclusive and modernized digital payments ecosystem in Zambia.

NatSave customers, who are currently limited to using their proprietary cards for withdrawing cash, will be switched to Mastercard’s prepaid and debit cards later this year. The new cards will feature the latest EMV Chip and PIN payment technology, providing customers with a convenient, globally accepted payment solution with the highest security protection.

The partnership supports Zambia’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017 to 2022, which aims to increase financial inclusion from 59 percent to 80 percent.

“We are pleased to embark on a significant new strategic partnership and joint investment programme with Mastercard in our quest to make banking and payments more efficient, secure and convenient for our customers, while reducing their exposure to the safety risks and high transactional costs of handling cash,” says Mukwandi Chibesakunda, CEO of NatSave. “We envisage that this collaboration will help to contribute to driving digital transformation, financial inclusion and economic development in Zambia, which are top on the agenda for us.”

By upgrading to a NatSave Mastercard payment card, the bank’s customers will be able to make safe and simple payments for everyday commerce activities. This includes the ability to withdraw money from Mastercard-licensed ATMs and pay for goods and services at millions of online and physical retailers that accept Mastercard payment cards, both in Zambia and in more than 210 countries and territories worldwide.

“Organisations like NatSave are vital to connecting the underserved market to financial services and the formal economy,” says Mark Elliott, Division President of Mastercard, Southern Africa. “Our collaboration with NatSave in Zambia represents a step forward in our strategy to create a world beyond cash, where the digitization of financial services not only leads to faster, smarter and safer transactions but provides people and businesses with the tools they need to achieve financial security, grow their businesses, and improve quality of life.”

Mukwandi Chibesakunda, CEO of NatSave (left) and Raghu Malhotra, President of Middle East and Africa at Mastercard, celebrate the signing of a strategic partnership agreement that will see the bank issue safe and globally-accepted Mastercard debit and prepaid cards to its customers in the coming months.

About NatSave

NatSave is a Government owned Non-Bank Financial Institution that was establish in 1972 by an Act of Parliament namely the National Savings and Credit Act, Chapter 423 of the Laws of Zambia. The Act gives the Bank the power to administer funds on behalf of any person or agency, accept deposits, operate saving schemes, the making of loans and to carry on any form of banking business. NatSave has presence in all the 10 provinces of Zambia with a total of thirty eight (38) branches across the network, 16 of these are in places where it is the only bank and this includes Kaputa Chilubi, Chavuma and Kalabo Districts. In addition to the 38 branches, the bank is also serving customers through 31 ATMs, 45 agencies, mobile and internet banking platforms. Natsave currently has about 300,000 customers across all segments.

About Mastercard

Mastercard, 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 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: @MastercardMEA and @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the MEA Engagement Bureau.