Mastercard invests $100m in Airtel’s mobile money business

Mastercard invests $100m in Airtel’s mobile money business

Mastercard, a global payments technology company, now owns a minority stake in Airtel Africa’s mobile money business.

This comes after Mastercard invested $100 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV, the holding company for Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations.

The deal valued Airtel Mobile Commerce BV at $2.65 billion on a cash and debt-free basis.

In a statement on Thursday, the company said the proceeds from the deal will be used to lessen group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in all operating countries.

Airtel Africa said its mobile money services are available across 14 countries.

In Nigeria, the telco offers mobile money services through a partnership with a local bank and has applied for its own mobile banking licence.

“Alongside the investment, the group and Mastercard have extended commercial agreements and signed a new commercial framework which will deepen their partnerships across numerous geographies and areas including card issuance, payment gateway, payment processing, merchant acceptance and remittance solutions, amongst others, ” the statement read.

Commenting on the development, Raghunath Mandava, the chief executive officer of Airtel Africa, said: “With today’s announcement we are pleased to welcome Mastercard as an investor in our mobile money business, joining The Rise Fund which we announced two weeks ago”.

“This is a continuation of our strategy to increase the minority shareholding in our mobile money business with the further intention to list this business within four years.

“We are significantly strengthening our existing strategic relationship with Mastercard to help us both realise the full potential from the substantial opportunity to improve financial inclusion across our countries of operation.”