MasterCard President Raghu Malhotra

MasterCard outlines Africa’s role in the company’s global expansion on ‘CNN Marketplace Africa’

On this week’s CNN Marketplace Africa, host Eleni Giokos sits down with Raghu Malhotra, President of Middle East and Africa for MasterCard.

CNN Marketplace Africa airs Friday 26 May at 18:15 EAT on CNN (401).

Speaking as the company launches a new digital payment service across the continent, Malhotra explains how Africa is integral to MasterCard’s global expansion, which is aiming to reach 500 million new consumers.

Malhotra tells Giokos: “We're well on our way in achieving that. If I look at Middle East, Africa, we expect over 100 million new consumers to come from Africa alone, as part of that 500 million over the course of the next three years.”

Giokos asks how MasterCard is seeking to gain 100 million new consumers from Africa and whether this would be in collaboration with other banks across the continent.

Responding to Giokos, Malhotra says: “Africa has scale. Now it's using its scale to drive profitability, drive the costs of transactions down, and therefore, you can create a new economic model… You have markets that are supposedly developed, but they actually need to have hardware that will accept cards… But Africa will leapfrog that. So, you've eliminated billions of dollars of hardware investment that's required, and that's going to spur a different model coming into Africa.”

With electronic payments taking off in Africa, Giokos questions how the methods will expand without continued investments and how MasterCard expects the expansion to progress.

Malhotra tells CNN: “We're not doing it alone. It's got banks involved, it's got small enterprises involved, it's got aggregators involved, it's got technology, field tech players involved. That's collectively creating the infrastructure for that change to take place.”

With similar investments taking place across the continent, Giokos asks Malhotra whether he expects one company will eventually dominate the market.

Concluding the Facetime interview, Malhotra explains: “Each industry type has some strengths and what they bring in there. If you look across Africa, East Africa has mobile money domination, but that same model as they tried to take into other parts of Africa, they pulled back… I don't think it's going to be one that will dominate or a second that will dominate. It has to be and will be a partnership.”

Don't forget to tune in to Marketplace Africa on Friday 26 May at 18:15 EAT on CNN (401).