Editor's Choice Middle East & Africa Paytech

Mastercard Announces New Kashat Partnership and Platform for MEA Financial Institutions

The Middle East and Africa’s fintech sector has boomed in the wake of the pandemic, with financial services announcing new partnerships at an accelerating rate to help stay ahead of the competition. Further establishing its global hold on the payments market, Mastercard, the worldwide payment provider, has announced a new partnership with Egyptian fintech, Kashat to help the underbanked, whilst also launching its Business Intelligence Platform for the entire region.

Mastercard and Fintech Kashat partner to expand financial services to Egypt’s unbanked and underbanked

In a move that will see enhanced financial services for people in Egypt, Mastercard and Egyptian fintech Kashat have signed a five-year agreement that will digitise the onboarding, disbursement, and collection processes for MENA’s first nano financial service provider.

Kashat will now be able to issue prepaid cards to users and offer them safe and convenient ways to withdraw money and repay their loans using Mastercard’s technology and payment rails. The partnership highlights both entities’ commitment to driving financial inclusion in Egypt.

“We are committed to supporting fintechs and recognise the important role they play in complementing the efforts of the government and the Central Bank of Egypt to grow financial inclusion and a digitised economy in Egypt,” said Mohamed Assem, Country Manager Egypt, Mastercard. “Our new journey with Kashat heralds a future of increased collaboration, and we look forward to providing access to our solutions, services and expertise to Kashat as we look to drive financial inclusion among our communities,” he added.

“Through our partnership with Mastercard, we will be able to launch a convenient and secure prepaid card product that will help us build a lasting relationship with our users, and continue to deliver reliable, innovative financial solutions. We will continue to champion serving the underbanked and contributing to the country’s mission of building a more financially inclusive Egypt,” said Sumair Farooqui, Kashat’s Co-founder.

Kashat serves as an entry point to financial inclusion by enabling the unbanked and underbanked to create and cultivate a financial identity; smartphone users can apply for small, short-term productive loans instantly from the FRA-licensed mobile application. In December, the start-up doubled its serviceable market to 67 million Egyptians, after expanding its operations to cover 14 governorates. Mastercard’s prepaid cards will allow Kashat to further extend its services to the masses.

Kashat launched in early 2020, capitalising on the significant potential for growth in Egypt’s fintech and digital space. With internet penetration among Egyptians at around 60 per cent, a large portion of adults remains underserved with regard to access to financial services. The start-up has raised over $4.5million to date.

Through its fintech partnerships, Mastercard is powering innovation and delivering a diverse range of seamless experiences that enable a more inclusive future for all. A curated, customised portfolio of Mastercard products, spanning payments, data, security, analytics and fraud management, empower fintech companies to operate as a trusted player in an evolving marketplace.

Mastercard expands its Business Intelligence Platform for Financial Institutions in the Middle East and Africa

On the same day as its announcement in Egypt, Mastercard also announced the expansion of its new interactive business intelligence platform Mastercard Market Trends in the Middle East and Africa. The new platform provides a comprehensive view of payments insights, competitive intelligence and industry trends for banks and financial institutions across the world and now within the Middle East and Africa.

In the Middle East and Africa (MEA), the platform enables a comparison of over 300 cards from five key markets, access to market reports, analysis of global and regional leading fintechs and thought leadership on key payment industry and technology trends, such as open banking and blockchain. Mastercard Market Trends provides a simple, curated view of reliable research – all in one place.

“Access to relevant insights, data, and analytics to inform smart decisions is critical to business success. Mastercard Market Trends offers a one-stop-shop for financial institutions to access key information, which will allow for better decision-making and results. The platform brings together the latest market, industry and consumer insights, enabling financial institutions to really understand their customers and confidently embrace the constant evolution in how people shop and pay,” said Dimitrios Dosis, President, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.

Mastercard Market Trends includes five key features:

  • Market Assessment: easy-to-access reports providing insights into socio-economic, payment and digital KPI data curated at local level by Mastercard teams with five key MEA markets (Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and United Arab Emirates) analysed in detail.
  • Card Comparison: filtering and benchmarking features of card products issued by different schemes and issuers to help users understand the current MEA competitive landscape. This includes an overview of key metrics at a local level. More than 6,000 cards are available for comparison from 62 countries across the world.
  • Consumer Research: access to research studies commissioned by Mastercard globally and regionally to provide insight across a wide range of topics
  • New Payment Experience: analysis of leading regional and global Fintechs and best practices to help inform strategies in a constantly evolving payments landscape e.g., use cases and company profiles.
  • Industry Insight: access to our repository of videos, studies and global thought leadership on technology trends that are shaping the industry.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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