MasterCard grants Unified Payments acquiring license

MasterCard today granted an acquiring license to Unified Payment Service Limited (Unified Payments) a leading Payments Service Provider in a move that is expected to broadly increase the acceptance of MasterCard payment cards in Nigeria.

Unified Payments operates as a shared infrastructure for the Nigerian banking community to enable a wide range of merchants to accept electronic payments. Thanks to this acquiring license, merchants using Unified Payment’s e-payments services will be able to accept local and international MasterCard and other branded payment cards without needing to operate multiple Point of Sale (POS) terminals.

“Our collaboration with Unified Payments is another step by MasterCard towards realizing our vision of a world beyond cash,” says Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President and Area Business Head, MasterCard in West Africa. “Through this partnership, we will introduce merchants – many of which are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises - to all the benefits associated with MasterCard acceptance, while providing our more than two billion cardholders with even more locations at which to use their MasterCard payment cards.”

Research carried out by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency and the National Bureau of Statistics shows that MSMEs represent 95% of registered businesses in Nigeria and account for 75% of the workforce. However, nearly 98 percent of all MSME payments are still made with cash, according to MasterCard research.

As the acceptance of electronic payments is enhanced, these business owners can increase their revenue, enjoy better access to capital, be able to better manage and track their spending, save for future needs and protect themselves against unforeseen risks.

This partnership supports MasterCard’s broader strategy of working with a wide range of traditional and non-traditional partners including the government, merchants, telecommunication companies and others to increase the adoption and usage of electronic payments, and help stimulate economic growth in Nigeria.

“We are delighted to work with a global leader in payments technology, MasterCard, and to leverage the MasterCard brand to enhance merchant services in Nigeria,” says Babatunde Okeniyi, Director Marketing and Sales , at Unified Payments . “Through this partnership, we have once again added to the list of ‘firsts’ in providing leadership and exceptional innovations that have contributed immensely to the growth of payments in Nigeria.” 

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