Mastercard and Zimswitch, Zimbabwe’s national payment switch, have announced a partnership agreement to enable the modernization of Zimbabwe’s payment infrastructure, using Mastercard’s technology, products and services. 

This partnership will further support the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s vision of a modernized and interoperable payment system that supports inclusive economic growth and boosts the digital economy. 

Dr John Mangudya, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, says: “We see this partnership as a positive development that will help us achieve our long-standing vision and our strategic plan to modernise payments systems and infrastructure, and build an inclusive financial sector that supports the socio-economic development of the country.”

Utilising Mastercard’s global network, Zimswitch will launch a co-branded contactless card programme that features EMV technology to enable safer, smarter and more secure transactions. The payment switch will also introduce Mastercard’s digital payment solutions, a loyalty platform and a national fraud and risk management solution to protect consumers, financial institutions and merchants against criminal activity. 

From an e-commerce platform perspective, Zimswitch will leverage Mastercard Payments Gateway Services to support small businesses, as well as the private and public sectors. The platform will process all payments from all major international card schemes, enabling international visitors and locals to book and pay for their travel, visas and government services online. 

“Zimbabwe has witnessed a significant shift in growth of electronic payments over the last few years and we are delighted by Mastercard’s commitment to driving Zimbabwe’s digital agenda, which demonstrates confidence in our market. The ultimate aim of this partnership is to unlock best-in-class payment solutions that will position Zimbabwe at the forefront of the global financial system. This will further help us to boost investment, while making it easier for people, and businesses to transact,” says Wonder Nyabereka, the Zimswitch Board Chairman. 
 
Mastercard’s commitment to financial inclusion means the company is actively leveraging the latest technology to simplify and reduce the cost of transacting. This is even more critical in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, where many vulnerable populations have been disproportionately impacted by economic challenges. 

Mark Elliott, division president of Mastercard Southern Africa, says: “Our strategy remains focused on enabling digital transformation for our partners so that their customers enjoy seamless access to payments and a superior experience when transacting across different platforms. We are very excited to partner with Zimswitch to lead the transition to a more inclusive digital payments system –and to do it in a way that helps society at large. This marks a significant step towards greater consistency, security and speed for processing everyday payments while laying the groundwork for future innovation.”

Weber & Shandwick