Mastercard and Awash Bank partner to launch new international prepaid card and Payment Gateway Service

February 15, 2024 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Shehryar Ali, Senior Vice President and Country Manager for East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands at Mastercard (Left) and Yohannes Merga, Senior Chief Marketing Officer for Awash Bank (Right) during the launch of the Awash pre-paid cards in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 15 February 2024 - Awash Bank S.C, the first and the leading private financial institution in Ethiopia, has partnered with Mastercard, a leading global technology company in the payments industry, to introduce the Awash pre-paid cards. The Mastercard-branded international prepaid plastic card was launched during a press conference at Awash Bank’s Headquarters. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in Ethiopia’s card business, as the cards enable customers and merchants to make and receive payments online from anywhere in the world.

The plastic card will offer added flexibility and convenience to customers as it is enabled to make contact or contactless transactions on ATMs and POS machines. Customers can also use the plastic card to withdraw cash from ATMs, pay on POS terminals, and shop online at any merchant locations worldwide where Mastercard is accepted. The virtual card also offers customers the freedom to make online purchases at any merchant website worldwide where Mastercard is accepted.

One of the key features of Awash Mastercard is that customers can load funds onto the card as needed at Forex bureaus. making the new card an ideal choice for international payments and travel-related expenses.

"This innovative offering is a testament to Awash Bank's commitment to delivering convenient and secure financial solutions to our customers," said Yohannes Merga, Senior Chief, Marketing Officer for Awash Bank. "Awash Mastercard empowers travelers with the freedom to manage their finances seamlessly while exploring the world," he added.

Along with the card, the bank will also introduce Mastercard’s Payment Gateway Services (MPGS) which will diversify and expand Awash Bank’s service offering. Mastercard’s Payment Gateway allows local merchants that have mobile applications or websites to integrate with it and accept international payments online. Customers from all over the world can place online orders and reservations and pay merchants that are integrated with MPGS using their cards.

“This collaboration with Awash Bank is driving our commitment as Mastercard to enable financial inclusion across Africa. Our technological advancements in the payments landscape, enable consumers to be connected to endless possibilities, when transacting, in a safe, secure, and simple manner, which places power and convenience in their hands,” said Shehryar Ali, Senior Vice President and Country Manager for East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands at Mastercard.

Awash Bank’s international prepaid card is available to any traveler above the age of 18. To obtain the card, interested individuals simply visit Forex Bureau and open a bank account. They are required to bring along essential travel documents such as a passport, visa, and flight ticket.

The introduction of the Awash Mastercard and Mastercard’s Payment Gateway Services plays a vital role in the implementation of Ethiopia's digital transformation strategy by enabling smooth cross-border payments.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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