By Juliet Umeh

To address challenges facing remote communities in Africa in accessing financial services, technology company,  Mastercard has partnered with African fintech and Start Path Company, Paycode.

The partnership is to provide both companies’ offerings on one biometric smart card that will help increase access to critical services and advance economic inclusion for Africans living in remote communities.

The partnership’s goal is to onboard 30 million individuals living in remote, unconnected areas of Africa over the next three years, enabling them to access the products and services they need with a Community Pass biometric smart card that runs on Paycode’s Electronic Data And Payments Technology platform, EDAPT platform.

The partners explained that Mastercard’s Community Pass platform will be included in Paycode’s EDAPT that currently provides a secure, biometric identity as well as a digital bank account.

Also, individuals can access digital financial services offline even if they lack a formal identity document such as a birth certificate or passport.

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Together, Paycode and Mastercard deliver a path to prosperity, enabling users to manage day-to-day needs including paying school fees for children, getting vaccinations for their families, selling goods, and growing their businesses. 

To enable this, Community Pass allows a person’s face or palm to be recognized at both online and offline locations, while ensuring security of their individual data. Community Pass also leverages consistent technology standards so that an individual can seamlessly access financial, health, agricultural, or aid services across providers, including government disbursements.

SVP, Sales & Market Development, H&D for Mastercard, Ricardo Pareja, said: “Adding Inclusive ID functionality to Paycode biometric smart cards will help reach those currently excluded from critical government programs and ensures we are addressing basic financial needs of a dispersed population.”

Also, CEO at Paycode, Ralph Pecker,  said: “We believe that shared digital tools and scalable channels can drastically improve the reach and access to services, by reducing the cost to serve those communities as well as improving the effectiveness of service delivery. 

Vice President, Business Development – Governments at Mastercard, Selim Ergoz, said: “At Mastercard, we are committed to building an inclusive, sustainable economy where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.

“Our trusted network powers digital transactions every day, making them safe, simple and smart and we apply this innovation to the most connected and the most remote communities around the world.

Vanguard News Nigeria


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