With Valentine’s day around the corner, the annual Mastercard Love Index indicates that Kenyans are turning to online retail outlets to purchase their gifts. There has been 183 percent increase in the number of e-commerce transactions taking place from 2015 to 2017. The Mastercard Love Index looked at shopper behaviour in more than 200 territories around the globe identifying purchasing trends. It also analysed credit, debit and prepaid transactions across the past three Valentine periods (11th-14th February 2015-17). “Technology is playing a key role in changing consumer behaviour, helping people to search for their perfect gift online and having it delivered to their doorstep. This type of purchasing indicates some level of planning,” says Chris Bwakira, Vice President and Area B
Mastercard has introduced the Girls4Tech programme in Africa. The company is working to empower young girls in Africa with Girls4Tech. The Girls4Tech programme was launched in South Africa (both Johannesburg and Cape Town), as well as Kenya, (Nairobi) and Nigeria (Lagos). Mastercard will offer workshops managed by volunteers from Mastercard, focused on sparking interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and also broadening their view of the future. Women remain a minority in STEM-related careers, making it more critical to reach young girls early. Mastercard President and CEO, Ajay Banga highlighted in a Women of the World Conference that if half the world’s population is unable to find the right opportunity to succeed, how can the world keep growing?
Smartphone penetration across the emerging markets is increasing significantly. Recently MTN Group published statistics on the growth of smartphones across its operating companies, including South Africa (15%), Nigeria (36%), Ghana (64%) and Côte d’Ivoire (100%). On this note, Youtap, the global provider of contactless mobile payments and financial services software has launched a QR code solution as well as smartphone apps for mobile money in Africa and Asia. According to a statement by Youtap, the solution complies with the industry standard that was developed by Bharat, Mastercard and Visa. "Youtap's apps can be white-labelled and branded with the logo colours of the mobile money service," the statement stated. The new solution gives any merchant or small business owner with a
Mastercard’s startup engagement program Start Path Global works with startups to drive new businesses forward and is launching a call for application for its 2016 class. Start Path was established in early 2014 as a way for Mastercard to work directly with global startups building innovative solutions covering everything from blockchain to artificial intelligence and chatbots. Over the last two years, Start Path has worked with over 90 companies across 24 countries. Mastercard is currently running active pilots with or has directly invested in nearly 20 percent of the companies. “In 2014 Mastercard wanted to look beyond itself and support innovation that was being developed by new and upcoming, early-stage companies” said Chris Bwakira, Vice President & Area Business Head East Afri
The Mastercard Foundation Think Tank recently released findings from a peer to peer research report that provides some key insights into youth employment and entrepreneurship trends in East Africa. The Youth Tank which was established in 2012 to ensure that young people are meaningfully engaged in improving their economic opportunities in Africa has demonstrated the "dedication and energy of young people to seek positive change within their communities." That is according to Ann Miles Director, Financial Inclusion and Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation, as newsghana reports. She said: “Their research is an important piece of work that will help to inform not only the Foundation’s strategy for expanding youth economic opportunities, but also governments and policymakers in t