MasterCard Worldwide has sealed a landmark deal with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), which will see 60 per cent of Africa’s population have access to financial services.

The global payment solution company signed a multi-country licensing agreement with ETI which would provide access to MasterCard’s payment solution for Ecobank’s customers in 23 African countries. The agreement was the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was initially signed in November 2011.

Under the terms of the 2011 MoU, MasterCard would partner Ecobank to explore joint business development opportunities across Central, East, West and Southern Africa where Ecobank has presence. On the other hand, Ecobank will become an issuer and acquirer of MasterCard products in more than 1,200 branches across Africa, giving the banking group’s customers access to over 35.9 million acceptance points – including 2.1 million ATMs – in over 210 countries and territories worldwide where MasterCard cards are accepted.

Commenting on the deal, the Group Chief Executive Officer,  Ecobank, Thierry Tanoh said: “This agreement demonstrates Ecobank’s vision which is to provide our customers with convenient, accessible and reliable financial products and services as part of our commitment to build a world-class pan-African bank and contribute to the economic development and financial integration of Africa.”