MasterCard has announced the launch of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) focused acceptance development program whereby electronic payments will be embraced by retailers across Nigeria.

This move was declared at the MasterCard Thought Leadership Forum held in Lagos yesterday, 24 March 2015.

To achieve this aim, Mastercard has partnered with First Bank of Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) to deliver hundreds of Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) devices to retailers in Nigeria, engaged in all line of businesses. Allowing them to process debit, prepaid and credit card transactions by using a smartphone connected to a secure card reader.

“MSMEs are an important sector in our economy, representing 95% of registered businesses in Nigeria. However, nearly 98 percent of all MSME transactions are still made with cash,” says Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President and Area Business Head, MasterCard, West Africa. “Using innovative payment technology, this program will help MSMEs reduce the costs of cash, increase sales, grow their customer base and improve cash flow, while making it easier and safer for their customers to pay.”

The MPOS payment strategy includes a MPOS payment application, a card reader with a secured PIN pad for PIN entry, which connects to the merchant’s smartphone via bluetooth. The device use a range of data connectivity option of EDGE, 2G, 3G, and 4G.

Mastercard says all transaction will adhere to the ‘CHIP and PIN’ certifications mandated in Nigeria, making all transactions safe and secure.

The rapid growth of smartphones in Nigeria provides a huge opportunity for innovation across all industries – especially in payments. This program uses smart technology that transforms mobile devices into tools of commerce, and delivers services that will benefit all stakeholders in the payments ecosystem. It also supports the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cashless Nigeria policy, and will help this vital sector to connect more efficiently to the national and global economy,” said Ojomuyide.

More value added services like airtime top up, person-to-person remittance, bill payments, inventory control e.t.c will be rolled out on the MPOS solution.

It will enable merchants to be more efficient and resourceful in business.

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