Letshego becomes licensed MasterCard Issuer in Mozambique
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botwana
Botswana born Letshego Holdings Limited (“Letshego”), recently announced it has received its official principle issuer license from MasterCard in Mozambique. The partnership will see further payment innovations being introduced into the market to its financial inclusion efforts.
In acknowledgement of National Women’s Day in Mozambique on 6 April, Letshego highlighted the need to empower women through financial inclusion, reinforcing the importance of the partnership in developing a cashless Mozambique for all.
The partnership will help pave the way for other Letshego country operations to leverage the MasterCard issuer status, enabling a far broader reach for the financial institution. Also, it will enable Letshego to better service its growing base of 300,000 borrowers and 100,000 depositors.
Chris Low, Group CEO of Letshego, said: “Letshego is a brand that is trusted across Africa and to be granted an issuer license from MasterCard will help grow our range of innovative and financially inclusive products and services.
“Our partnership with MasterCard is vital to achieving our goal of offering simple, appropriate and affordable solutions with the aim of improving the lives of our customers. We look forward to being able to work with MasterCard to further financial inclusion across the continent through this partnership.”
According to information from the company, ‘the MasterCard issuer license enables Letshego to engage in card issuance and ATM, or merchant, acquisition. Letshego will look to tap into the wide range of payment value-adding services MasterCard offers, chiefly focused on financial inclusion. These include financial literacy interventions, remittance solutions, and contactless technology, bringing additional value to existing customers and creating a broader offering to low and middle income earners.”
Speaking on behalf of MasterCard, Vice President and Area Business Head for Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, Charlton Goredema said, “That this partnership announcement has been made during National Women’s Month is significant for both MasterCard and Letshego. We share a vision of
Letshego will begin introducing new services granted by its MasterCard issuer license to its customer base of over 55,000 in Mozambique. Here in Mozambique, Letshego operates as a banking institution, with a presence in all of Mozambique’s provinces. Letshego recognises that traditionally access to, and consumption of, financial services amongst women is low and is pleased to see a growing number of women in Letshego’s customer base (currently 30%) in Mozambique.
In support of its financial inclusion goals, Letshego has been selected by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) to be part of enriching the dialogue with policy makers, regulators and other government bodies from across the continent. Joining MasterCard as one of a few selected private sector partners, Letshego will be able to add great value in creating a cashless Africa through knowledge sharing.
With MasterCard, Letshego aims to continue to focus on reaching as many citizens as possible, linking in with its promise to improve the livelihoods of the under-served or unbanked. It also will focus attention on the agriculture, education, and health sectors, where MasterCard continues to play a significant role.